What is Vertigo
In vertigo, a person experiences a sense of dizziness, giving a person an illusion that the whole world around is spinning. There can be several reasons that can lead to vertigo. It may occur when a person is having a problem in the brain, ear, or disruption in their sensory nerves. Vertigo is like a sudden sensation where you start to feel like everything around you is spinning in circles. It can throw you off balance and cause you to blackout. Vertigo can affect any age but is most common among people above the age of 65 or older.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Sitting down or getting up suddenly can leave you feeling super dizzy or giddy. Following are some of the common causes of vertigo:-
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe headache
- Feeling of motion sickness
- Head injuries
- Shingles in or around the ear
- Ringing in the ear
- Balancing issues
- Uncontrollable movement of eyes (nystagmus)
- Prolonged bed rest
Causes of Vertigo
There can be several reasons or conditions that can trigger vertigo attacks. Vertigo, in simple terms, is usually disruptions in the nervous system leading to imbalance.
Ear infectionsEar infections, also called cholesteatoma, are non-cancerous growth on the skin which starts to develop in the middle ear. The infection can cause dizziness and vertigo and also lead to the risk of losing hearing ability.
LabyrinthitisLabyrinthitis is an infection in the inner ear that impacts balance. The trigger point of labyrinthitis is an infection like cold or flu. Experts explain if the inner ear becomes inflamed, it indicates labyrinthitis. The labyrinth ear transfers the information to the brain regarding the position of the head. People affected with labyrinthitis often suffer severe pain in the head, ear, vision, and hearing.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo(BPPV)BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is the most common cause of vertigo, and it is usually brought on by certain changes in head position, like moving your head up and down way too fast. However, BPPV is not a serious condition but can harm if there is a risk of falling.
Meniere's diseaseMeniere's disease is a condition in which the fluid is built up in the inner ear, thereby causing dizziness, spinning type sensations, pressure on the ears and hearing issues. Usually, Meniere disease affects one ear but may later move to the other ear as well. Meniere disease can affect anyone at any age, and as per research, treatment can only help to manage the symptoms, but this condition cannot be cured.
MigraineMigraine is a type of severe headache that usually hits as a throbbing pain in the front or one side of the head and is one of the most common headaches found in the younger generation.
Tests and procedures
In this test, the doctor will ask you to walk in a straight line for 25-30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you walk normally without leaning on one side, then there is no problem with your inner ear; otherwise, it could indicate issues in the inner ear labyrinth, which could mean vertigo.
Head impulse test (HIT)
In this test, the healthcare expert will be gently moving your head from one side to the other while asking you to keep your eyes focused on one particular object. While this test is being done, the supporting or nursing staff will look at the patient's eye while the head is in motion.
In this test, the expert will ask you to close your eyes and stand while keeping your feet together and arms on your side. If you find it difficult to stand in this position and start being shaky and unbalanced, it indicates that you may have some disturbances in your nervous system.
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Vertigo makes you feel like the whole world is spinning around you. It can last from a few seconds to hours.
Yes, walking is one of the simplest and easiest ways to help improve your balance. Patients with vertigo should make a habit of walking for at least 10 -15 minutes as it can help improve their confidence level. You can take someone’s support as and when needed.
Some researchers have suggested that chewing gum or eating something sweet can help reduce the effect of vertigo.