What is Vertigo?
Vertigo simply means dizziness or the feeling that your surroundings are spinning, but this is more than just dizziness because vertigo creates the feeling of movement as well. There are several causes of the condition and the symptoms are usually accompanied by nausea, sweating, vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking because of disorientation, visual and/or hearing disturbances, and a decrease in the level of consciousness.
Causes of Vertigo
If the vertigo makes you feel as if you are moving, it is called subjective vertigo; while the perception that the surroundings are moving is what is known as objective vertigo. The condition has several causes, but it is classified as caused by either the inner ear or the central nervous system.
The following are the most common culprits that trigger vertigo:
1. Vestibular Neuritis or Labyrinthis. These are the terms that refer to the inflammation of the inner ear and can cause hearing loss and vertigo for several days. Vestibular neuritis is the inflammation of the nerve from the labyrinth to the ear. The labyrinth controls hearing and balance, so when it gets inflamed, the signals sent from the labyrinth to the brain become conflicting. The treatment involves getting rid of the virus or bacteria that caused the infection.
2. Head Injuries. If you suffer from a head injury, it can sometimes cause vertigo. If the symptoms appear, make sure that your medical provider knows about it.
3. Meniere’s Disease. This condition affects the inner ear and will cause symptoms such as vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and pressure in the ears or aural fullness.
4. Medication Side-Effects. Sometimes your medication can cause vertigo, so make sure you read the label and ask the doctor about the side-effects. If vertigo is becoming a problem, you can ask your doctor for an alternative prescription.
5. Multiple Sclerosis. This health condition affects the brain and the spinal cord, that is why some people might experience vertigo.
6. Migraines. The symptoms vary from person to person, but some patients experience vertigo during an attack.
7. Acoustic Neuroma or Brain Tumor. Acoustic neuroma is a benign brain tumor that affects balance and hearing. A brain tumor on the other hand, is malignant and grows on the bottom part of the brain or the cerebellum.
8. Stroke or Transient Ischemic Attack. This condition can temporarily cut off the blood supply to the brain and will cause a lot of problems including vertigo.
Types of Vertigo
1. Peripheral Vertigo. This is the most common type of vertigo and is caused by problems in the inner ear such as labyrinthis or vestibular neuronitis, head injuries, Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV, and taking some types of medicines.
2. Central Vertigo. This type of vertigo is caused by problems in the brain or parts of the brain such as the brainstem or the cerebellum. Vertigo is a symptom of medical conditions such as multiple sclerosis, migraines, acoustic neuroma, transient ischemic attack, stroke, and brain tumor.