Vertigo refers to a sensation of rocking, rotation, or the environment spinning that’s experienced even when one is perfectly still. Anyone with these dizzy spells may feel like the world around them is spinning or they’re spinning themselves.
Causes of vertigo
An inner ear condition is often the cause of vertigo. Some common vertigo causes include:
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BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, occurs when canaliths (tiny calcium particles) build up in the inner ear canals. The brain receives signals about body and head motions relative to gravity from the inner ear. This helps people maintain balance.
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BPPV may occur for no apparent reason and can be age-related.
Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis
This is a problem of the inner ear that’s usually caused by viral infection. The infection results in inflammation of the inner ear around crucial nerves that help your body gain balance.
This disorder of the inner ear said to be due to an accumulation of fluid as well as pressure changes in the ear. It can lead to vertigo episodes as well as tinnitus and hearing loss.
Vertigo is less often associated with neck or head injury, brain conditions like tumor or stroke, migraine headaches, and certain medications that result in ear damage.
The symptoms of vertigo
Vertigo itself is one symptom, instead of being a medical disorder that has signs and symptoms.
People suffering with vertigo normally feel as they’re spinning, tilting, swaying, pulled to a single direction, and unbalanced.
Vertigo may be accompanied by other symptoms, including vomiting, feeling nauseated, headache, sweating, jerking or abnormal eye movements (nystagmus), hearing loss or tinnitus.
Symptoms may come and disappear and may last a few hours or a few minutes.
Treatment for vertigo
Vertigo treatment depends on what is causing the problem. Vertigo often goes away without treatment. So, what may be the reason? Well, this is because the brain can adapt, at least partly to the changes in the inner ear, relying on other methods to maintain balance.
For some people, treatment is required and can include:
This is a form of physical therapy that’s designed to help make the vestibular system stronger. The vestibular system is responsible for transmitting signals to your brain regarding head and body motions relative to gravity.
Sometimes medication can be given to ease symptoms like motion sickness or nausea related to vertigo. For vertigo that results from infection or inflammation, some antibiotics and steroids can be prescribed to minimize swelling as well as treat infection. For Meniere’s disease, water pills (diuretics) can be prescribed to ease the pressure caused by fluid buildup.
A few cases of vertigo may require surgery. If the vertigo resulted from something serious such as a tumor, neck or brain injury, treating these problems can help ease the problem.