Hello All, today we are going to look at what could cause vertigo. Vertigo is the medical name for problems within the inner ear. It causes you to be very dizzy and have problems with balance. It is something I have suffered from for the past 5 years. You can be sitting very still not moving your head at all but feel extremely dizzy. It’s not a very nice feeling.
10 problems Associated with Vertigo
- Dizziness, is the most common symptom
- Feeling like you’re moving or spinning when you are completely stationary
- Trouble with focusing the eyes
- Hearing loss usually just in one ear
- Balance and coordination problems
- Ringing in the ears, similar to tinnitus
- Uncontrollable Sweating
- Feeling Nausea or physically being sick
- Difficulty when swallowing
- Weakness in the limbs
Most sufferers will not experience all of these problems. The majority will experience two or three of them. The 3 that affect me are, dizziness, feeling like my head is spinning when stationary and balance/ coordination issues. Just before a bout of vertigo I get a lot of pain in the soft tissue behind my ear lobes.
There are 2 main types of vertigo
Central and peripheral.
Central vertigo occurs when there is a problem within the brain, generally in the cerebellum.
Peripheral vertigo is mostly caused by a problem in the inner ear or the vestibular nerve, which connects the inner ear and the brain. This is the one most people have the issue with including me.
Conditions that can lead to vertigo
This disorder can happen when an infection causes inflammation to the inner ear labyrinth. Within this area is the vestibulocochlear nerve.
This nerve sends signals to the brain about sound and motion.
Apart from the dizzy feeling with vertigo, a person with labyrinthitis can also have, tinnitus, headaches, ear pain, loss of hearing and altered vision.
An infection causes vestibular neuritis, which is inflammation of the vestibular nerve. The symptoms are very similar to labyrinthitis, except the hearing is not affected. Vestibular neuritis is another cause of vertigo that may cause blurry vision, extreme sickness or a feeling of being off balance.
This disease causes a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, which can then lead to attacks of vertigo with ringing in the ears and hearing loss. It tends to be more common in people between 40 to 60 years old. But it can occur in younger people.
This is one of the hardest to treat and the symptoms usually last a few months in most cases.
The exact cause is unclear, but it’s believed it can be caused from constriction of blood vessels, a viral infection, or an autoimmune reaction. There is also a genetic factor which means that it could be hereditary.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
The inner ear contains structures called the otolith organs, which contain fluid and particles of crystals of calcium carbonate.
In BPPV, these crystals become dislodged and fall into the semicircular canals. There, each fallen crystal touches sensory hair cells within the cupula of the semicircular canals when you move.
As a result, the brain doesn’t receive the right information about a person’s position, and spinning dizziness occurs. People typically experience periods of vertigo that last less than 60 seconds, but feeling sick and other symptoms can also occur.
How is Vertigo Diagnosed
First of all you will visit your doctor and try to describe your symptoms which can be quite difficult to do. It can take a long time to get diagnosed and many trips back and forth to the doctor or to an ear, nose and throat specialist.
A series of tests will be carried out starting with a physical examination, then going onto some maneuvers involving moving your head and body around to see what’s causing your vertigo. These are performed to determine if your vertigo is triggered by a problem Within the inner ear.
Others check your balance, by standing still with your eyes closed you will move involuntarily. Then your eye movements will be assessed to see what side of your body is most affected. Imaging tests, such as a computerized tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), can be used to let doctors see what’s going on inside your head. In the majority of cases, hearing, vision and blood tests will also be carried out.
Certain types of vertigo can go on their own without any treatment, but you may need treatment for other underlying medical problems.
A doctor may, prescribe you antibiotics for a bacterial ear infection.
Medications are available that can relieve some symptoms. These drugs include antihistamines and anti-emetics to reduce the feelings of motion sickness and nausea.
Surgery may be necessary if other treatments are not effective. BPPV and acoustic neuroma are two conditions for which this may be necessary. Studies have shown that surgery is not a very effective or worthwhile option to consider.
My Final Thoughts
As a sufferer of vertigo even I have learned a lot from researching and writing this article. It’s thought that many thousands of vertigo sufferers around the world are still yet to be diagnosed, and there are over 69 million sufferers in America alone. As you can see this is a huge problem. When you suffer an attack it feels like your head is spinning, another way of describing it effectively is if you have ever been on a cruise ship and when you get off it feels like you are still on it. You get this feeling even when you are lying down.
Thank you very much for reading this article. If, you have a question or would like to leave a comment you can do so below. If, you know anyone else who would appreciate this then please feel free to share it. I love hearing from you and I will always get back to you
Take great care of yourself because you are worth it.
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This article is intended as advice only. It’s not to replace medical advice. You should always speak to your doctor if you are concerned about any medical condition.