Dizziness and vertigo

multiple sclerosis (MS) can make you dizzy. Let’s put a positive spin on that.

As well as causing balance and coordination problems, MS can also cause dizziness and vertigo. In fact, nearly 20% of people living with MS have vertigo at some point.

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I get vertigo when I’m at the top of stairs. I can go up on escalators but not down – I get really dizzy when I’m on them. It’s like the world is spinning. When I’m in a big shopping centre and looking at the floors below me, I feel like I’m going to faint, I feel that dizzy.


Living with MS since 2016

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The more you know, the better you can keep things under control.

read on to learn more about dizziness and vertigo in MS.

Dizziness and vertigo are two slightly different things. Vertigo is a type of dizziness were you get the feeling that you are spinning or rotating (or that your surroundings are spinning around you), even though you aren’t moving. It can make some people feel nauseous. Dizziness is the term people often use to describe various sensations such as fainting or feeling off-balance.

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When I get dizziness and vertigo, it’s like every slight movement of my head makes me feel like I’m spinning. Sometimes it feels like there’s a delay between the visual information my eyes take in, and my brain processing the information.


Living with MS since 2006

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Vertigo can last for varying amounts of time – it may only be seconds or minutes, but in some cases it could last days or weeks. How long it lasts will depend on what’s causing your vertigo and if it’s related to your MS or something else.

Read on to find out more about what causes dizziness and vertigo and how to manage these symptoms.

Vertigo in MS is caused by nerve damage in the part of the brain involved with balance. But MS might not be the only reason behind vertigo. Other common causes include migraines and problems with your ears, such as ear infections.

Read on to find out about ways to manage vertigo and dizziness.

If you’re experiencing feelings of dizziness and vertigo, there are some treatments that can help:

  • Anti-nausea medications: these treatments may help if vertigo is causing you to feel nauseous
  • Physiotherapy: a physiotherapist can work out if certain ways of holding/positioning your head are making your vertigo worse. They can then give you exercises to help you cope when your head is in those positions

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When I feel dizzy I know it’s time for a rest. It’s an indication that I have either been pushing myself too hard or a warning that today is not a day to push myself. I manage dizziness with rest and patience, knowing that this feeling won’t last forever.


Living with MS since 2006

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Remember, it’s important to talk to your healthcare team if you start experiencing dizziness or vertigo. You should provide a detailed description of your experience of vertigo, including exactly how long it lasts and how often you get it. This will help them work out whether it’s caused by your MS or something else, and to help find the right treatment for you.


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