What Is Vertigo?

by | Sep 18, 2023 | News

Temporary dizziness is a common symptom of many illnesses and certain activities, such as riding a rollercoaster. When dizziness doesn’t dissipate after a short while, it goes by another name: vertigo.

Individuals with this kind of dizziness experience an unrelenting sensation of spinning despite being stationary. This can interfere with daily life and requires treatment by a medical professional.

What Is Vertigo?

Many people don’t experience extreme dizziness alone but instead have several symptoms:

  • Nystagmus
  • Fullness in the ear, hearing loss or tinnitus
  • Motion sickness
  • Balance issues
  • Vomiting and nausea

Dizziness itself is not a medical condition, but it has medical causes.

What Causes It?

Many medical conditions can cause dizziness, including dehydration, low glucose levels and blood pressure problems. You may even experience it as a result of stress or lack of sleep. However, persistent dizziness that doesn’t dissipate after addressing these issues typically has one of two causes: brain conditions and inner ear problems.

When dizziness is due to a medical issue affecting the brain, doctors call it central vertigo, as the problem originates in the central nervous system. Your central nervous system receives sensory information from the external world and delivers it to your brain, which then interprets the signals. Extreme dizziness occurs when the brain can’t correctly interpret the signals it receives.

Patients with this type of dizziness usually experience it severely and may also have difficulty walking or struggle with balance. The following are common causes:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Stroke
  • Infection

The type of dizziness caused by the inner ear doesn’t involve the central nervous system directly. Instead, it results from a disturbance in the vestibular system, which is responsible for your sensation of equilibrium. This system has several organs that work together to help you identify your location in space.

You can easily disrupt your equilibrium by spinning your body or shaking your head very fast. Doing so results in the fluid in the semi-circular canals continuing to move after your body has stopped, causing the vestibular nerve to send mixed signals to the brain. Once the fluid stops moving, the signals align, and the dizziness disappears.

When dizziness is the result of issues with the vestibular system, medical professionals call it peripheral vertigo. Several conditions can cause this symptom:

  • Ménière’s disease
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Labyrinthitis

What Are the Treatment Options?

Fortunately, there are treatments for the various causes of dizziness. The first step is to find out what kind of dizziness it is. To do so, healthcare providers utilize tests:

  • Imaging
  • Fukuda-Unterberger test
  • Vestibular test battery
  • Romberg’s test
  • Head impulse test

If the issue lies in the brain, you may need intensive treatment, such as surgery, to rectify it. However, if the inner ear is the culprit, less extreme treatments, such as medication, vestibular rehabilitation therapy and repositioning maneuvers, can alleviate the symptoms.

Where Can You Find Vertigo Treatment?

The first step in getting treatment is finding a medical specialist. For peripheral dizziness, that means visiting a hearing clinic, such as HEAR Center.

HEAR Center can address your vertigo and help you reclaim your life. The caring and dedicated staff are ready to answer your questions and schedule an appointment.

Call or text: (626) 734-6555

Email us at: appointments@hearcenter.org

Chat us: https://direct.lc.chat/13342371/

Also, for more information about Audiology, please visit our webpage: https://www.hearcenter.org/services/audiology/