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Planning To Go For A Swim? What To Know If You Have Aural Vertigo

Swimming is a great form of exercise that helps boost cardiovascular fitness, but if you have aural vertigo, there are a few things to know.

Tenzin Chodon
Written by: Tenzin ChodonUpdated at: Apr 06, 2023 10:24 IST
Planning To Go For A Swim? What To Know If You Have Aural Vertigo

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Several health problems can cause headaches and dizziness. Many factors can make you feel lightheaded and out of balance, from migraines to certain nutrient deficiencies. But did you know? An inner ear problem can also trigger similar symptoms and launch attacks of vertigo, often described as a sensation of spinning. The condition is called Meniere's disease, also known as aural vertigo. According to the Mayo Clinic, Meniere's disease affects only one ear. It can occur at any age, but becomes more prevalent between the ages of 40 to 60, notes the health body. 

Speaking with the OnlyMyHealth editorial team, Dr Savyasachi Saxena, Consultant - ENT, Fortis Hospital, Noida, discusses the impact of swimming on our inner year and how it can result in vertigo. 

Also Read: Expert Explains Nasal Polyps: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment

Is It Okay To Swim If You Have Aural Vertigo?

Aural vertigo, or Meniere's disease, is an inner ear problem that can lead to dizziness and even hearing loss in severe cases. While swimming is an excellent form of exercise and a great way to relieve stress, it can become a source of distress for people with vertigo. Dr Saxena says, "If you're not careful while in the water, it can lead to problems with your inner ear, resulting in vertigo. The inner ear has semicircular canals responsible for maintaining balance in humans. You might experience difficulties maintaining balance when something goes wrong inside these canals. Additionally, you might feel like you are spinning when you aren't moving! 

Factors That Can Contribute To Aural Vertigo

According to Dr Saxena, many potential factors can contribute to swimming-related vertigo. These include:

  • Spending too much time in the swimming pool
  • Hyponatremia: A condition in which the blood becomes too diluted from drinking excess water during physical activities like swimming.
  • Swimming in icy-cold water.
  • Swimming in a pool with poor filtration and ventilation systems.
  • Swimming in a pool with insufficient light, high chlorine concentration, and poor water quality. 
  • Not cleaning the ears properly.

Symptoms Of Aural Vertigo

Aural vertigo or Meniere's disease can lead to several symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms include:

Dizziness: People with aural vertigo often experience regular spells of dizziness that start and stop suddenly. It can last for up to 20 minutes to 12 hours.

Aural fullness: Aural fullness is described as a feeling of fullness in the ears, which can occur with aural vertigo. 

Ringing in the ear: Also referred to as Tinnitus, the condition can cause ringing, buzzing, whistling, or hissing sounds in the ear.

Hearing loss: During the early stages of aural vertigo, temporary hearing loss may occur occasionally. If left untreated, it can worsen and occur for more extended periods.


With summer approaching, swimming seems like a great activity to plan. But if you have an inner ear problem, it is best to confirm your diagnosis of aural vertigo or Meniere's disease. While there is no definite cure, some treatments can help manage and lower the distressing impact of vertigo and associated symptoms.