Vertigo is a feeling of feeling off balance. In case you’ve got those dizzy spells, you may feel as though you’re spinning or the world around you is spinning.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo is often brought on by an inner ear problem. Some of the most common causes include:
- BPPV. These initials stand for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium particles clump up in canals of the inner ear. The inner ear sends signals to the mind about body and head motions relative to gravity. It can help you keep your balance.
- BPPV can happen for no known reason and could be related to age.
- Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It may cause episodes of vertigo together with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.
- Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. This is an inner ear problem usually linked to disease (usually viral). The disease causes inflammation in the inner ear round nerves that are important for helping the body feel balance
Less frequently vertigo may be related to:
- Head or neck injury
- Brain problems like stroke or tumor
- Particular medicines that cause ear damage
- Migraine headaches
Symptoms of Vertigo
This condition is often triggered by a change in the place of your head.
People with this condition typically describe it as feeling like they are:
- Pulled to a management
Other symptoms that may accompany vertigo include:
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
Symptoms may last a few minutes to a couple hours or longer and may come and go.
Treatment for Vertigo
Remedy for this condition depends on what is causing it. Oftentimes, vertigo goes away with no treatment. This is because your mind can adapt, at least in part, to the inner ear changes, relying on other mechanisms to keep balance.
For some, treatment is required and may include:
Vestibular rehabilitation. This is a kind of physical treatment geared toward helping fortify the circulatory system. The purpose of the vestibular system is to send signals to the mind about body and head motions relative to gravity.
Vestibular rehab might be recommended if you have recurrent bouts of this condition. It will help train your other senses to compensate for this condition.
Canalith re-positioning maneuvers. Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology recommend a series of specific body and head motions for BPPV. The moves are done to move the calcium deposits from the canal into an inner ear room so that they can be absorbed by the body. You will probably have vertigo symptoms during the process as the canaliths move.
A physician or physical therapist can guide you through the motions. The motions are safe and often effective.
If this condition is caused by an infection or inflammation, antibiotics or steroids can reduce swelling and heal disease.
For Meniere’s disease, diuretics (water pills) may be prescribed to decrease pressure from fluid buildup.
In a few cases, surgery may be required for this condition.
If the vertigo results from a more serious underlying problem, like a tumor or injury to the neck or brain, treatment for those issues might help to relieve the vertigo.