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What to Know About Vertigo

Vertigo refers to a sensation of rocking, rotation, or the environment spinning that’s experienced even when one is perfectly still. People with these dizzy bouts might feel like they are spinning or the environment around them is spinning.

Causes of vertigo

An inner ear condition is often the cause of vertigo. Here are some common vertigo triggers:

BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, occurs when canaliths (tiny calcium particles) build up in the inner ear canals. The brain receives signals about body and head motions relative to gravity from the inner ear. This helps us maintain balance.

BPPV may occur for no apparent reason and can be age-related.

Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis

This inner ear problem often results from a viral infection. The infection leads to inner ear inflammation around vital nerves that help the body gain balance.

Meniere’s disease

This disorder of the inner ear said to be due to an accumulation of fluid as well as pressure changes in the ear. It can result in vertigo episodes along with hearing loss and tinnitus.
Vertigo is less often associated with neck or head injury, brain conditions like tumor or stroke, migraine headaches, and certain medications that result in ear damage.

The symptoms of vertigo

Vertigo can be described as one symptom, rather than a condition that exhibits signs and symptoms.

People suffering with vertigo normally feel as they’re spinning, tilting, swaying, pulled to a single direction, and unbalanced.

Other symptoms may accompany vertigo, including feeling nauseated, vomiting, sweating, headache, abnormal/jerking eye movements (nystagmus), tinnitus or hearing loss.

Symptoms can occur and disappear and can last a few hours or even a few minutes.

Vertigo treatment options

The cause of vertigo is what determines the treatment option. Vertigo often goes away without treatment. So, what may be the reason? This is because your brain has the ability to adapt, partly to inner ear changes at least, using other means to keep balance.

Treatment is required for some people and may include:

Vestibular rehabilitation

This kind of physical therapy is meant to strengthen your vestibular system. The vestibular system transmits signals to the brain about body and head motions relative to gravity.

Drugs

Sometimes medication can be given to ease symptoms like motion sickness or nausea related to vertigo. For vertigo that results from infection or inflammation, some antibiotics and steroids can be prescribed to minimize swelling as well as treat infection. For Meniere’s disease, you may be prescribed diuretics, aka water pills, to ease the pressure resulting from fluid buildup.

Operation

A few cases of vertigo may require surgery. If the vertigo resulted from something serious such as a tumor, neck or brain injury, treating these problems can help ease the problem.
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