What is Vertigo?

Vertigo, which is a fairly common medical issue, is similar to motion sickness. Vertigo can cause dizziness or give you the feeling that you're moving when you aren't. A common form of vertigo is referred to in the medical industry as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. BPPV occurs when your head is placed in specific conditions. For most people suffering from BPPV, this most often happens when you're lying down.

What are Some of the Symptoms of Vertigo?

Some of the most common symptoms of vertigo and BPPV include:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling that the room is spinning
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rhythmic eye movement

The symptoms of vertigo can happen suddenly, and they can disappear suddenly also.

What Causes Vertigo?

There are two basic categories of vertigo, peripheral vertigo and central vertigo. About 90 percent of all vertigo cases are peripheral vertigo and are generally caused by problems in the inner ear or vestibular nerve, which connects your ear to your brain. Central vertigo refers to vertigo that is caused by an issue within the brain, specifically within the cerebellum, which helps to control movement, coordination, and balance.

Common causes of peripheral vertigo include:

  • Calcium crystals that have formed in the semicircular canals within your ear.
  • Inflammation of the inner ear, which can cause a sudden case of vertigo.
  • Meniere's disease, which is a disorder affecting the inner ear that can cause issues with balancing and your ability to hear.

Common causes of central vertigo include:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Brain tumors
  • Stroke
  • Multiple sclerosis

Diagnosis and Treatment for Vertigo

Visit your ear, nose, and throat (ENT) physician for diagnosis and treatment options. Diagnosis will usually involve a physical examination, head and body movement tests, and imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI.

Treatment for vertigo will depend on your specific case, but may involve one or more of the following:

  • Medications such as antihistamines, antiemetics, or benzodiazepines.
  • Bedrest.
  • ENT guided movements which loosens and clears the calcium crystal formations.

Outlook for People Suffering from Vertigo

While it may not seem like a huge issue to others, vertigo can be debilitating. However, the underlying causes of vertigo can often be cured, and if not the symptoms can be treated and managed to make living with Vertigo easier. If you are suffering from vertigo symptoms, schedule a visit with your ENT physician today.


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