Vertigo – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment


What is vertigo?  Vertigo comes to mind when a person feels dizzy, making him or her think that the room is constantly spinning. This could be the common description anyone can have of vertigo but this is only partial. People suffering from vertigo may experience other symptoms which are sometimes mistaken for other conditions.

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Learning about what is vertigo involves a lot of things, including treatment methods. Treatment methods for vertigo considerably differ from one person to another, so the physician will tailor a treatment method based on the needs of the patient, considering his or her symptoms, the duration of the condition and underlying medical conditions.

What is vertigo ?

Studying about what is vertigo starts from learning what it refers to. Vertigo pertains to the feeling that the surroundings is constantly spinning or moving when in reality it is not. This clinical condition is marked by dizziness but it is not dizziness because vertigo depicts a false impression of movement. Vertigo is classified into three types, namely, spontaneous, recurrent attacks and positional vertigo. Positional vertigo is the most common type of vertigo which lets the person feel dizzy whenever the head is resting. Unlike other medical conditions, vertigo is not an illness or disorder but a symptom.

What causes vertigo ?

Understanding what is vertigo means learning why it occurs. Vertigo occurs as a result of nerve disorder and impaired vestibular system, which is the balance mechanism structure inside the ear that senses body movement and head position. The impairment of the vestibular system and nerve disorder may be the result of certain medical conditions that affect the inner ear and brain, and these could be due to:

  • Menier’s disease

This condition is characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo which is quite severe and comes with fluctuating loss of hair. Menier’s disease involves excessive accumulation of fluid within the inner ear.

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

This occurs when a person suddenly moves his or her head in certain directions.  BPPV is treatable.

  • Migraine

This is a severe type of headache that may give rise to vertigo. Read more about migraine treatment .

  • Vestibular or labyrinthitis neuritis

This is a medical condition where the inner ear gets inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection. An inflamed ear may result to hearing loss.

  • Cerebellar hemorrhage

Cerebellar hemorrhage is characterized by bleeding occurring in the back of the brain which causes headaches and makes it hard for the person to walk.

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  • Acoustic neuroma

This is a kind of tumor that develops in the nerve tissue and is marked by hearing loss and ringing on one side of the ear. Here is more information about acoustic neuroma.

  • Head trauma and neck injury

These conditions may also cause vertigo but it often disappears on its own.

  • Multiple sclerosis

The onset of multiple sclerosis is marked by vertigo and an eye examination can further confirm the condition.

  • Complications from certain medical conditions

One example of this is diabetes which may lead to a condition called arteriosclerosis that may result to the decreased flow of blood to the brain.

Symptoms of vertigo

Knowing what is vertigo will be incomplete without learning its associated symptoms. People who are suffering from vertigo will feel that the environment is spinning, and will experience the following signs and symptoms as well.

  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Walking difficulties
  • Lacking the ability to concentrate
  • Abnormal movement of the eyes
  • Hearing loss
  • Ringing sensation in the ear
  • Inability to maintain balance
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Decreased consciousness level

The length of time that vertigo sufferers will feel the symptoms range from a few minutes to several hours, and can either be periodic or constant.

When does vertigo require immediate medical attention?

Part of learning about what is vertigo also requires knowing when prompt medical attention is required. Bouts of vertigo necessitate doctor’s evaluation, despite the fact that most of the time they are harmless. But a hospital trip might be needed when the patient experiences the following conditions:

  • Speaking difficulties
  • Weakness
  • Double vision
  • Headache
  • Abnormal movements of the eyes
  • Altered consciousness level
  • Difficulty in controlling the legs and arms

What issues caused by vertigo does treatment help with?

Studying what is vertigo also means learning how treatment can help those who are suffering from the condition. The following illnesses may be alleviated with vertigo treatment.

  • Inflamed inner ear
  • Vomiting, nausea, dizziness and lightheadedness
  • Ringing sound inside the ear

How does treatment help people with vertigo?

Learning what is vertigo will conclude in how it is treated and how the treatment helps vertigo sufferers. The treatment methods are different from one patient to another, depending on the underlying cause and accompanying symptoms. Vertigo can be treated with medications or through surgical procedure. Treatment helps sufferers by alleviating the symptoms and preventing them from occurring as well.

Understanding what is vertigo is essential not only in treating the condition but preventing it from recurring.

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