How Long Does Vertigo Typically Last?

Vertigo affects approximately 40% of people in the U.S. at some point during their lives, reports the Cleveland Clinic. Experiences of vertigo can be disorienting, causing one to feel as if their immediate surroundings are spinning or tipping around them, even though they may not be moving at all, notes Healthline. While not a medical condition in and of itself, vertigo is a symptom that can stem from a number of underlying health conditions.

While vertigo may sound similar to dizziness in some ways, it's important to note that they are not the same, per Healthline. Vertigo is characterized by sensations of one's environment being in motion, while dizziness involves feelings of lightheadedness, wooziness, or general unbalancedness, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Additionally, vertigo can take two forms: peripheral vertigo or central vertigo. Cases of peripheral vertigo are related to the inner ear, while central vertigo pertains to a brain issue such as a tumor, traumatic brain injury, or stroke. Vertigo is more often observed in adults over the age of 65 and is slightly more common among women than men.

Treatment methods for vertigo sensations

Vertigo can stem from a number of different health conditions including pregnancy, migraines, diabetes, syphilis, multiple sclerosis, arrhythmia, low blood pressure, cholesteatoma, and more (via Cleveland Clinic). In particular, Meniere's disease and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) are two conditions commonly associated with episodes of vertigo. Meniere's disease is characterized by fluid build-up in the ear, while BPPV occurs in response to changes in head movements. Most often, episodes of vertigo are relatively short-lived, lasting anywhere from seconds to minutes. However, medical experts at Amwell explain that cases of vertigo related to Meniere's disease can last anywhere from 20 minutes to 24 hours. Alternatively, cases of BPPV may last longer — in some cases, over a week.

According to Healthline, staying adequately hydrated, the use of certain medications, or implementing various physical therapy exercises are common methods of treatment for episodes of vertigo. One such exercise is the Epley maneuver, which involves a series of head rotations at different angles, as well as changes in lying down and sitting up to relieve vertigo sensations (per WebMD). However, a 2012 study published in Audiology and Neurotology Extra found that an exercise known as the half-somersault maneuver may work more effectively for some people. The maneuver involves positioning one's self as if preparing to do a forward roll. Be sure to consult with your physician if you experience sensations of vertigo.