If you think vertigo is a classic American psychological suspense film starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, you’re half right. It is also a symptom of a balance disorder and pretty common to people in Goodyear and throughout the U.S. Most episodes of vertigo are harmless, but it can indicate an underlying health condition. Discovering what is causing your vertigo is essential in keeping you on your feet and treating anything more serious.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo is a sensation of dizziness marked by a spinning feeling that causes you to feel off balance. It occurs even when you are not moving and is a symptom of a number of conditions affecting the inner ear or vestibular nerve.
In addition to a sensation of movement and spinning, vertigo may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, hearing loss, blurry or double vision, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ears.
Types and Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo is classified as either peripheral or central.
Peripheral vertigo occurs in response to disruptions in the vestibular system’s signals to the brain. This information concerns the position of the head in relation to movement and allows us to keep our balance and maintain equilibrium. It is most often the result of inflammation in the labyrinth or vestibular nerve of the inner ear following a viral infection. Two common disorders that can lead to peripheral vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), a condition caused by loose calcium deposits floating in the inner ear, and Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder that causes pressure and fluid buildup.
Central vertigo is caused by a problem in the brain itself, usually involving the brainstem or cerebellum – areas that are responsible for interactions between the body’s visual and balance systems. It is most often the result of migraine headaches but may also be associated with less common causes such as stroke, tumors, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, alcohol, and certain medications.
Occasional episodes of vertigo are completely normal and experienced by most everybody. Sometimes just getting up from a seated position too quickly momentarily disrupts signals to the brain, leading to dizziness and a spinning sensation that quickly passes. If vertigo occurs frequently, you should seek the advice of a Goodyear doctor, who will give you a thorough physical examination, review your medical history, and order diagnostic tests such as a CT scan or MRI.
Treatment depends on the type and severity of your vertigo, as well as the underlying condition responsible for your symptoms. Possible solutions include medication, physical or occupational therapy, head maneuvers, and repositioning exercises.
With so many possible causes, vertigo is impossible to diagnose without professional medical input. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of dizziness, it’s in your best interest to schedule an appointment with a Goodyear ear, nose, and throat specialist as soon as possible.