Vertigo is characterized by a spinning sensation, dizziness, & nausea. People also report feeling like their surroundings are spinning or moving around, or that they are in a rocking boat. They might also experience sudden dizziness, motion sickness especially when they move their head in certain directions, nausea, vomiting, & migraine headaches. Some people might also experience a painful sensitivity to light(photophobia) as well as to sound(phonophobia). Vertigo is rarely a condition on its own. It’s almost always a symptom of some other underlying illness. In this article know about Peripheral vertigo and Central vertigo.
Vertigo may be extremely severe for some people, while less severe for others. Some people might be able to ignore it, while others may experience extreme difficulty in performing even the most basic functions without feeling dizzy or nauseous. Vertigo attacks often come on suddenly & unexpectedly, which might cause some issues with your everyday life, professional as well as personal life. This makes some people with vertigo very anxious when it comes to everyday life & social situations.
Vertigo is of two types; peripheral vertigo & central vertigo. vertigo is due to an inner ear issue, while central vertigo is due to a problem with the brain. Its Peripheral vertigo is often triggered by a change in the position of the head, while central vertigo is usually caused by issues with the central nervous system. This Peripheral vertigo is usually more severe but also easily treatable. Central vertigo is usually chronic in nature and often doesn’t have any permanent cures.
Most common vertigo symptoms include:
- Motion sickness
- Migraine headaches
- Tinnitus, a ringing sound in the ears
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
- Photosensitivity or sound sensitivity
- General instability and inability to maintain a straight gait
Different people can experience different symptoms of vertigo, depending on their exact underlying condition, medical history, and other factors. The frequency & intensity of your vertigo symptoms will also depend on the exact underlying conditions and other medical factors.
Causes of vertigo:
The most common cause of vertigo is an issue with the inner ear. The inner ear houses the vestibular system, which plays an important role in maintaining the balance of the body. An issue with this system causes problems with the way the inner ear sends balance-related information to the brain. Other issues, like some illnesses, certain medications, & some surgeries, can also be causes of vertigo in some people, although they are less common. Central nervous system issues can also cause vertigo in some people, although the cases rank far behind in number as compared to peripheral vertigo.
Common causes of vertigo include:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV). It is among the most common causes of vertigo, accounting for nearly 80% of all vertigo cases. It is the most common type of peripheral vertigo and is caused by the tiny calcium crystals inside the middle ear breaking loose and depositing inside the semicircular canal of the inner ear. BPPV is generally easily treatable, with the help of canalith repositioning maneuvers, vertigo exercises, vertigo medicines, & vertigo home remedies.
- Migraines. Migraines are severe headaches that make the sufferer feel like the pain is pulsating in their head, & renders them unable to move, talk, or perform any activity for the duration of the headache. Migraine headaches, if left untreated for a long period of time, can be the cause of vertigo in people already prone to it.
- Labyrinthitis. It is an inner ear infection that causes swelling & inflammation inside the labyrinth part of the inner ear, which is where the inner ear sends the balance-related information to the brain. Swelling or inflammation in this part of the inner ear causes problems with how the inner ear sends this information to the brain, thus leading to dizziness, disorientation, & the inability to walk straight.
- Vestibular Neuronitis. Also known as Vestibular Neuritis, this is an inner ear infection that causes swelling or inflammation in the vestibular nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending balance-related signals to the brain. Any swelling or inflammation in this nerve causes problems with the signal transmission and leads to dizziness, nausea, vomiting, vertigo.
- Meniere’s Disease. This is an inner ear disorder that is caused by an excessive amount of fluid inside the ear. It also causes a feeling of pressure in the ears, hearing loss in the affected ear, & tinnitus (a ringing in the ears), along with vertigo, dizziness, & nausea.
Other causes of vertigo include a head injury, head trauma, surgery, eardrum injury, whiplash injury, certain medications, etc.
Vertigo treatment & prevention:
Dizziness treatment depends on the cause & severity of your vertigo. Vertigo exercises, vertigo medicines, & a medley of home remedies are generally all things that can help with vertigo treatment. Vertigo exercises like the Epley maneuver, the Brandt-Daroff exercises, and the Semont-Foster maneuver, also known as a liberatory maneuver, are all used with varying success rates in vertigo treatment.
These vertigo exercises help reinstate the mislodged calcium crystals inside the semicircular canal of the inner back into the middle ear where they don’t cause any issues with the body’s balance & gait. They also help desensitize the patient to their common vertigo triggers by teaching their body to not react to the sudden movements and direction changes.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy(VRT) is also used with a good track record in vertigo treatment. VRT is a set of specially designed vertigo exercises that help train your body to compensate for the losses in the natural vestibular system by employing other organ systems in its place.
Other common vertigo treatments include:
- Vertigo medicines like meclizine tablet, stemetil tablet, stugeron forte tablet, prochlorperazine, betahistines, & antihistamines like cinnarizine, cyclizine, & promethazine tecolate. Other medicines include anti-nausea medications, anti-dizziness medications, & motion sickness drugs to control the symptoms of vertigo as & when they appear.
- Prevention tactics like avoiding tipping over to one side suddenly, getting up too quickly, moving your head in certain directions & movements, etc. are also important in ensuring that you don’t get sudden vertigo attacks at sensitive places. If you get frequent, severe vertigo attacks, you should try walking with a cane, climbing the stairs with the support of handrails, and avoiding any sharp objects and blind spots in your home or outside. It also helps to tell a friend or a coworker about your condition so that they know what to do in case you get a sudden vertigo attack.
- Other everyday lifestyle changes like getting proper 8 hours of sleep, drinking enough water throughout the day, eating a healthy, balanced diet, & avoiding excessive stress and burnout are also important factors in vertigo treatment. You can also try indulging in relaxation activities & exercises like yoga, dancing, pilates, breathing exercises, meditation, & mindfulness.