Has your child ever felt like everything around them was spinning or moving around, yet they’re just standing still? This is known as vertigo, and it’s a condition that can affect both adults, as well as children. Here’s what you need to know:
What is vertigo?
In order to understand vertigo, it’s important to understand how our balance system works. In a nutshell your inner ear handles everything that has to do with balance. It sense your head’s position, movement, and works with your other organs in order to help keep your balance.
What happens with vertigo is that for one reason or another, your brain gets the signals wrong and can suddenly cause you to feel dizzy, even if you’re standing still. Here’s a list of the most common causes of vertigo:
- Colds, allergies, or sinus infections. These can lead to fluid in the Eustachian tube, which links your inner ear to your sinuses, and can cause vertigo.
- Labyrinthitis, which is a viral infection of the inner ear.
- Head injuries have also been known to cause vertigo. So if your child hits their head, they can possibly experience vertigo afterwards.
- Meniere’s disease is a condition wherein a large amount of fluid builds up in the inner ear, causing vertigo, hearing loss, and ringing in the ears. This is fairly uncommon, but it can happen in children.
- Benign paroxysmal vertigo of childhood – This condition mostly happens in children, and can happen multiple times in a month for a few years. These usually disappear by the time your child is 8 years old.
- Migraines can also sometimes cause vertigo. Though usually the vertigo ends once the migraine subsides.
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptom of vertigo is a feeling of dizziness or a feeling that everything is spinning even if you’re sitting down or standing still. For the most part, vertigo isn’t a major health problem, but sometimes it can be a sign of a bigger health concern.
Vertigo can happen at anytime, so it’s important for parents to always monitor their child and make sure their children tells them whenever they feel sick, or they’re not feeling well. If your child suffers from frequent attacks of vertigo, then it might be best to take them to a doctor so that they can identify what might be causing the problem.
What can parents do?
Generally, vertigo subsides without any treatment, so the best thing that parents can do whenever their child suffers from vertigo would be to ask their child to sit down or rest until the vertigo subsides.
If your child suffers from frequent vertigo attacks, it might be a good idea to not let them do activities which involve balance, such as biking, skateboarding, or rollerskating. A vertigo attack during one of these activities can potentially cause your child to be harmed or injured, so it’s best to avoid those until their vertigo can be treated.
Vertigo is usually caused by another illness, so when it comes to treatment, doctors usually prescribe antihistamines for inner ear problems, antibiotics or antiviral medicine if they suspect a bacterial infection or virus in the inner ear. Motion sickness medication would also help ease the feeling of vertigo.
However, if your child suffers from severe or strong vertigo, repeated and prolonged instances of vertigo, ear pain, or confusion and not acting like him- or herself, then you should immediately take them to a doctor.
Sources: gmanetwork.com, fairview.org
READ: Should you be worried if your child hits their head?