What is Vertigo?
Vertigo gives a feeling of movement when you are staying still. Also, you may feel that the things around you are moving when they are still. It can be similar to motion sickness. So, in simple terms Vertigo is the feeling of dizziness. This feeling is mostly accompanied by nausea and vomiting and lasts for three days. Later on, this feeling of off-balance continues for several weeks and gets back to normal after 3- 4 weeks.
There are 2 different types of Vertigo.
- Peripheral vertigo: It is the commonest type of vertigo caused by improper functioning of the inner ear that regulates our body balance.
- Central vertigo: It is caused by any brain damage or major injury to the brain. It is more intense and prolonged episode compared to peripheral vertigo.
Although there are 2 types of vertigo, only peripheral vertigo shows noticeable Symptoms as given below.
- A feeling of motion sickness
- Spinning sensation
- Ringing sound in the ear – tinnitus
- Uncontrollable eye movement usually sideways – Nystagmus
Central vertigo appears without any noticeable Symptoms. However, the patients suffering from central Vertigo Symptoms may have difficulty in coordination. Also, they seek assistance to stand up and walk.
Who is at Risk?
- Women are more prone than men.
- A person having recurrent vertigo will have a genetic background to develop this condition.
- Older people are at Risk of developing BPPV.
- Those who suffer from a head injury or brain damage.
- Those who smoke and consume alcohol are at higher Risk.
- Those who have the underlying metabolic conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Those who suffer from a severe migraine attack.
- Those who suffer from Perilymphatic fistula.
- Those who had a history of ear infection, fluid accumulation, or ear surgery develop vertigo.
Here are the main vertigo Causes:
- Labyrinthitis – Labyrinth is the inner ear and infection to this part can cause inflammation that affects the vestibulocochlear nerve that regulates the Signals to the brain for sound, position, and head movements.
- Cholesteatoma – A recurrent infection in the middle ear can lead to noncancerous skin growth behind the eardrum which Causes dizziness, and hearing loss.
- Vestibular neuritis – This is similar to Labyrinthitis. It is caused by an infection to the vestibular nerve and leads to inflammation.
- Meniere’s Disease – It is the fluid accumulation in the inner ear leading to hearing loss and ringing in the ears making the person prone to vertigo.
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) – In this condition, the calcium carbonate crystals in the otolith organs gets dislodged and disturbs the sensory hair cells and pass on inaccurate information to the brain regarding the person’s position and results in dizziness and spinning.
Other conditions like acoustic neuroma, otosclerosis, ataxia, syphilis, stroke, transient ischemic attack and multiple sclerosis, prolonged bed rest and certain medications can act as vertigo Risk Factors in some people.
How is vertigo Diagnosed?
A vertigo doctor will physically examine the patient and check for the reasons for dizziness, and their medical history. Then they recommend some tests that will help in vertigo Diagnosis. The commonly performed tests are given below.
- Dix Hallpike Maneuver
- Romberg Test
- Head Impulse Test
- Fukuda-Unterberger Test
- Electronystagmography (ENG) or Videonystagmography (VNG)
- Hearing tests
- Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential Test
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
- Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
- Vision Tests
- Blood tests
- Allergy tests
These are several vertigo tests that are prescribed by doctors to identify different Causes of vertigo and differentiate the types of vertigo Diagnosis.
How is vertigo Treated?
Some vertigo resolves itself without any Treatment. But, some may use medications like antibiotics as medicine for vertigo if the cause is an infection caused by bacteria or virus. The doctors prescribe antihistamines, and antiemetics to relieve Symptoms like nausea and motion sickness as part of vertigo Treatment. In the case of BPPV and acoustic neuroma, if medications are not effective, a surgical procedure may be followed.
However, consulting a neurologist who is well qualified and experienced can detect the condition at an early stage and carry out the Treatment effectively. You need not worry about the doctors in your locality for vertigo cure. Care.fit helps you locate the nearest centre in your city with all specialized doctors on their panel. You can book an appointment by sending a WhatsApp message. The concerned person will check the doctor’s availability and revert to confirm. Care.fit gathers all types of Treatments possible under one roof with economical packages while ensuring patient privacy.
How can vertigo be Prevented?
Once you know the reasons for different types of vertigo Prevention measures can be taken accordingly.
- To avoid vertigo caused by head injury wear a helmet while bicycling, motorcycling, playing baseball, and other sports activities.
- Avoid heights.
- Make the house and walkways clutter-free to avoid possible dangers. Also, dangerous tools can be kept away if you lose your balance suddenly.
- Consult a specialist and Treat the underlying cause for your vertigo thoroughly so that there is no recurrent attack.