Named after the French physician Prosper Ménière, who first described it in 1861, the disease seems to result from the accumulation of a fluid within the inner ear; this change can lead to vertigo. One of the disease’s most harrowing aspects is the sheer unpredictability of its vertigo attacks. There is usually a short, abrupt attack, accompanied by vomiting and hearing loss in one ear. This soon goes away, and hearing may improve. But the vertigo usually returns, either months or years later.
To relieve vertigo, particularly for BPPV, here is the Half Somersault Maneuver:
First, kneel on the floor (or in the middle of a large bed) hands flat on the floor by your knees for balance, and tilt your head upward so that you’re facing the ceiling. Alt-hough you will feel dizzy in this position, just wait for the feeling to subside. Next, lean forward, placing the top of your head on the floor in front of your knees, chin tucked in as though you were about to do a somersault. Again, you’ll feel dizzy but wait a few seconds for the spinning feeling to end. While waiting for the dizzy feeling to stop, turn your head so that you are looking at your elbow, the right elbow if your dizziness is worse when lying with your right ear down in bed, the left elbow if it is worse with the left ear down.
At this point, still kneeling in the same position, lift your head so that it’s in a straight line with your back and you are facing the floor. Hold that position until the spinning feeling goes away. Then sit up straight. You should feel that the room isn’t spinning. However, if that isn’t the case, follow these steps once again. To learn more, check out this You Tube video from Dr. Foster. She discusses what happens to the inner ear when you experience vertigo and demonstrates her method—along with variations you might try if you suffer from vertigo that stems for the most part from just one ear.