Today’s Wonder of the Day is about something you can experience firsthand! Do you want to see? Okay, stand up. Now, raise your arms so they’re parallel with the ground. Finally, spin! Spin around as fast as you can. Spin, spin, spin… and stop!

Are you dizzy? Do you feel as if you could fall over? You may even feel a little sick to your stomach. What you’re feeling right now is similar to what it’s like to have vertigo.

Vertigo causes people to feel like the world is spinning. People with vertigo feel off balance or like they’re whirling around when they’re actually standing still. Sometimes, they feel nauseous and get sick. A severe case of vertigo could even cause people to have double vision.

That doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Being a little dizzy isn’t so bad when it’s just from spinning around. That kind of dizziness goes away quickly. However, vertigo sticks around. It often comes and goes over several days.

What causes vertigo? Most cases are caused by inner ear problems. Parts of the inner ear send messages to the brain that help keep us balanced. When someone has an infection or another issue in their inner ear, it can mess with those parts and cause them to feel off balance.

Sometimes, migraines also cause vertigo. Occasionally, it’s even caused by head injuries, like concussions. Other more rare causes of vertigo are low blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, and oncoming seizures. If you find yourself dizzy for no obvious reason, get help from an adult. You may need a visit to the doctor.

There are plenty of ways for doctors to help people with vertigo. Sometimes, small changes to what people eat can help. Many people with vertigo just need to consume less caffeine. Other times, doctors will recommend movements people can do to help their inner ears get back to normal. Doctors sometimes treat vertigo with medication, as well.

What if someone you know is experiencing vertigo? The best thing you can do is help them sit down. One of the biggest dangers of vertigo is the risk of falling. If the person says they feel sick to their stomach, bring them a bag in case they vomit. They need to stay sitting until they feel better.

Many people misuse the word “vertigo.” Sometimes, they mistake vertigo for the fear of heights. This is because a 1958 movie, Vertigo, was about acrophobia, the fear of heights. Many people experience vertigo at extreme heights, but it’s not the same as the fear of heights. Other people think vertigo means simple dizziness. Remember, vertigo is the false sense of moving and lasts longer than a bout of dizziness.

Now that you understand vertigo, you can help clear up this confusion! If you’re interested in preventing vertigo, there are a few things you can do. Any activity that makes you practice balance can help. Do you like yoga? How about tai chi? Even just dancing around the house can help. Yes, you can Moonwalk, Soulja Boy, and even Nae Nae your way to better health!

Standards: NGSS.LS1.D NHES.1, NHES.7, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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