The sensation of feeling off-balance having dizzy spells, like you are spinning or that the world around you is spinning is called vertigo.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo is often caused 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 (canaliths) clump up in canals of the inner ear. The inner ear sends signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity. It helps you keep your balance.
BPPV can occur for no known reason and may be associated with 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 can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.
Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. This is an inner ear problem usually related to infection (usually viral). The infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around nerves that are important for helping the body sense balance
Less often vertigo may be associated with:
- Head or neck injury
- Brain problems such as stroke or tumor
- Certain medications that cause ear damage
- Migraine headaches
Symptoms of Vertigo
Changing your head’s position triggers vertigo. This includes;
- Pulled to one direction
Other symptoms that may accompany vertigo include:
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
Symptoms can last a few minutes to a few hours or more and may come and go.
Treatment for Vertigo
Vertigo treatment depends on its cause. This is because your brain is able to adapt, at least in part, to the inner ear changes, relying on other mechanisms to maintain balance.
Some of the treatments needed include;
Vestibular rehabilitation is physical therapy aimed at helping strengthen the vestibular system. The function of the vestibular system is to send signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity.
Canalith repositioning maneuvers from the American Academy of Neurology a series of specific head and body movements for BPPV is recommended. This is done to move the calcium deposits out of the canal into an inner ear chamber. This is to allow absorption by the body. In some cases, you may have vertigo symptoms during the procedure as the canals move. The movements are mostly successful.
Medicine medication may be administered to relieve symptoms such as nausea or motion sickness associated with vertigo.
When vertigo is caused by an infection or inflammation, antibiotics or steroids may reduce swelling and cure the infection.
For Meniere’s disease, diuretics (water pills) may be prescribed to reduce pressure from fluid buildup.
Surgery for severe cases surgery is requires
When vertigo is a result of an underlying problem, such as a tumor or injury to the brain or neck, treating the problems can help cure vertigo.