We run vertigo clinic everyday for patients who suffer from dizziness.
Vertigo is a medical condition that results in the patient suffering from sudden bursts of excessive dizziness, which leaves them feeling off balance. If you, or someone you know, have consistent dizzy spells, which leave you feeling like you are spinning, or that the world around you is spinning, you may be the victim of vertigo. Let’s look at this condition in some detail:
Causes Of Vertigo:
In most cases, vertigo is caused by an inner ear problem. Some of the most commonly faced causes of this condition include:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): BPPV occurs when tiny calcium particles begin to build up in the canals of your inner ear. This blocks your inner ear from being able to send signals to the brain about head and body movements, in relation to gravity. This, in essence, is how you keep your balance, which BPPV prevents from happening.
Meniere’s Disease: This condition is an inner ear disorder as well, which medical studies suggest is caused by a build-up of fluid in the ear, which results in fluctuating pressure in the ear. This, in turn, can cause episodes of vertigo, in addition to a ringing sensation in the ears (tinnitus), as well as hearing loss.
Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthitis: This is another inner ear problem that can cause vertigo, and is normally an infection-related disorder (usually viral). This infection results in inflammation in the inner ear, particularly around the nerves that are essential for correct body sense balance.
In rare cases, vertigo can also be caused by:
- Head or neck injury
- Brain problems such as stroke or tumour
- Certain medications that cause ear damage
- Migraine headaches
Common Symptoms/Signs of Vertigo:
Vertigo is often caused by a sudden change in the position of your head. The main signs that indicate vertigo include:
- A spinning sensation
- Sudden feeling of tilting
- Swaying gait
- Unbalanced feeling
- Feeling a sudden pull in one direction
Other commonly noticed symptoms that may indicate vertigo include:
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
In most cases, symptoms of vertigo can last for a period varying between a few minutes to a few hours or more and may come and go.
Treatment Procedure for Vertigo:
Treatment of this condition will vary on the underlying cause of the same. In most cases, vertigo will disappear without the need for any treatment, as your brain is able to adapt and begin to rely on other mechanisms to maintain balance.
However, some cases will require treatment, and commonly used procedures include:
- Vestibular Rehabilitation: This treatment involves a type of physical therapy, which aims to help strengthen your vestibular system. This treatment can be very helpful, as the vestibular system’s primary function is to send signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity. This form of treatment may be recommended if you face persistent bouts of vertigo, as it helps to train your other senses to compensate for vertigo.
- Medication: In certain cases, your doctor may recommend medication to help relieve symptoms of vertigo, which can include nausea or motion sickness. In cases where vertigo is caused by an infection or inflammation, your doctor may suggest medicines to help reduce the swelling and cure infection. For Meniere’s disease, diuretics (water pills) may be prescribed to reduce pressure from fluid build-up.
- Surgery. In a few cases, surgery may be needed for vertigo. If vertigo is caused by a more serious underlying problem, such as a tumour or injury to the brain or neck, treatment for those problems may help to alleviate the vertigo.