CU doctor creates simple way to stop vertigo

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DENVER -- You go to bed and feel fine but wake up and the whole room is spinning.  That's called vertigo, and more than 50,000 people in Colorado are coping with it.

Kathleen Zaccar said when she felt vertigo recently it was terrifying. “You almost feel like your falling although you can still feel the bedm," Zaccar said.

She’s one of millions of people who have to call in sick from work or get help with the kids because they can’t even begin to function with their world spinning out of control.

Dr. Carol Foster of the University of Colorado School of Medicine said vertigo is caused when gravity particles in your inner ear become misplaced, knocking your sense of space out of whack.

"The spinning that people call spinners when they've had too much alcohol is a feeling of rotating and revolving," Foster said. Vertigo "is several times faster. So very fast you can't recognize things in the room.”

Foster has designed a simple maneuver to treat vertigo without medication. It involves the patient simply putting their head in an upside down position and then moving back upright first half way, then all the way.

Foster said she has even used the method to treat herself when she had a bought with vertigo.

Experts say 2 to 3 percent of the population will experience some form of vertigo in their lifetime.

The effect can create a spinning sensation that moves from side to side or up and down.  Other types of vertigo make the patient feel as if they are falling.

Doctors say although the condition is extremely unsettling, it usually does not pose any serious health risk, although you should contact your doctor if you experience symptoms.

For more about current vertigo treatments you can visit