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What is vertigo?

Vertigo is the feeling that everything around you is moving or spinning out of control. You can feel disoriented and unsteady as a result. Vertigo is not an illness. Instead, it is an indication of a variety of conditions.

 

Types of vertigo

Vertigo comes in two types:

  1. Peripheral vertigo: This occurs when there is an issue with the vestibular labyrinth or semicircular canals, located in the inner part of the ear, that are responsible for controlling our balance
  2. Central vertigo: This happens when there is a problem with the vestibular structures in the central nervous system. Causes of central vertigo can include infection, brain tumors, traumatic brain injury or stroke.

 

Vertigo symptoms

As was already noted, vertigo can be a sign of common diseases. Vertigo can, however, also manifest in combination with other symptoms, such as:

  • vomiting and nausea
  • Balance issues
  • Tinnitus
  • Headaches
  • Feeling faint
  • A sensation of ear fullness
  • Nystagmus (an uncontrollable side-to-side eye movement)

What causes vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The most frequent cause of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), where head movements during lying down, sitting up and turning over in bed cause vertigo.

Meniere’s disease. This disorder results in fluid accumulation inside the ear, which triggers episodes of dizziness. In addition to tinnitus (ear ringing), the vertigo patient may experience fluctuating hearing loss, or a sense of fullness in the ears.

Labyrinthitis. This refers to an infection or inflammation of the inner ear labyrinth. The vestibulocochlear nerve, which communicates information about the sound, position, and head motion to the brain, is located in the ear labyrinth. Labyrinthitis patients frequently complain of headaches, ear pain, altered vision, tinnitus, or hearing loss.

Vestibular neuritis. This is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve which is responsible for communicating with the brain on maintaining body balance. Vertigo, nausea, and blurred vision are all possible symptoms for those with this illness.

Cholesteatoma. Recurrent ear infections can result in the development of non-cancerous skin growth in the middle ear.

Other common causes of vertigo also include the following:

  • Head pain from migraines
  • Certain medication
  • Stroke
  • Arrhythmia
  • Diabetes
  • Head trauma
  • Prolonged rest in bed
  • Shingles
  • Ear surgery
  • Fistula perilymphatica (when inner ear fluid leaks into the middle ear)
  • Hyperventilation
  • Orthostatic hypotension
  • Ataxia, or weakened muscles
  • Syphilis
  • Otosclerosis (a bone development condition affecting the middle ear)
  • Brain disorder
  • Sclerosis
  • Sound-related neuroma

Common vertigo treatments

The fundamental cause of your vertigo, among other things, will determine the best treatment for you. The most effective vertigo remedies include:

  • Addressing your vertigo’s underlying cause may help reduce symptoms. For instance, your doctor may recommend medicines if vertigo is a symptom of an infection. Other vertigo symptoms like motion sickness or nausea can also be treated with medication.
  • Vestibular rehabilitation. This therapy can help you manage your symptoms if an issue in the vestibular system of your inner ear is responsible for your vertigo. Vestibular rehabilitation strengthens your brain and other sense organs to compensate the issues in the vestibular system.
  • Canalith repositioning procedure (CRP). Canalith or otoliths are small crystals of calcium carbonate that reside in the otolithic membrane of the inner ear utricle. A lot of time these particles can dislocate and accumulate in other parts of the ear that are responsible for maintaining balancing or communicating with the brain. Needless to say, due to the accumulation of Canalith in these parts of the ear, the brain receives false signals translating to vertigo. This procedure relocate the Canalith to its original place and restores the communication process between the ears and the brain.
  • Surgery. It may be required when a significant underlying condition, such as a brain tumor or neck injury, causes vertigo.

How do I prevent a vertigo attack?

You can take a few actions to lower your risk of vertigo. These include:

  • Standing up, turning your head or performing other triggering movements.
  • Elevating your head on two pillows while you sleep.

Sitting down as soon as you feel dizzy instead of leaning over to pick something.

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