Dear Fellow Vertigo sufferers,
Your inner ear has three channels. In one of these channels, some lovely little crystals sit on a "sticky pad." The crystals are used by the body to sense movement, up and down, side to side, and front to back. For some unknown reason, for some people, the sticky pad becomes unsticky, and the crystals go floating around the channels. Those crystals are now hitting the tiny hairs inside the wrong channels. And that causes the brain to get two different signals. The signal from the inner ear, saying that the world is tilting, and the signal from your eyes saying that it is not. This makes the brain very confused, and you feel dizzy, and may even become nauseated and may need to vomit.
There is a wonderful fix for this horrid state: figure out which ear is affect by lying on the edge of the bed with your head hanging off the end (on your back). Turn your head to one side and keep your eyes open. If the world starts to spin, you have found the affected ear. Your eyes will be rotating, trying to match the movement of the crystals. This next part is hard. Keep your head turned that way until the world stops spinning. You will feel utterly horrible during that time period, usually takes only a minute or two. Once the world has stopped spinning, slowly over the course of ten minutes turn your head to the front (so that you are looking at the ceiling) and then to the other side (so that you are looking at the opposite wall you started from) and then flip your body over holding your head in the same position, and then continue to turn your head until you are facing the floor. Congratulations, You have put the crystals back on their proper pad. Now very slowly (did I say slowly, I meant it!) sit up and stay in an upright position for a couple of hours. Prop yourself up on a couch and watch tv. Hopefully this has worked. If it has, it is instant! As soon as you sit up you will see that the world has stopped spinning and you no longer wish to vomit.
How do I know? The massive vertigo attack I had two years ago, just prior to being diagnosed with CML. Had me in convulsions at the lab, and on my way to the ER. Six weeks later, and finally able to see a neurologist after having brain scans and MRI's and a ton of work and testing, by which time the disconnect between eyes and ear had my poor brain so tired, I was unable to read, unable to speak without stuttering, and terrified that the docs were now talking about MS, after ruling out a stroke or a brain tumor. Nice Neuro doc, had me do the hang the head trick. I sat up and could speak clearly and felt completely fixed. It was a miracle. Since then have had to do the slow turning thing a couple of times. In fact last night was one of them.
Hope this helps someone.