Feeling unsteady, nauseated, or dizzy, are some of the signs of vertigo. Vertigo is the false sensation of movement and it can affect more than 40 percent of people over the age of 40. This condition can stem from problems a person might have in their inner ear, in their brain, or in their spinal cord. There are a lot of things a person can do about this condition, but the best way to deal with vertigo, much like diabetes, is to take medicine for it.
While many of you have probably experienced some kind of dizziness at one point or another, the dizziness someone with vertigo experiences can interfere with and can be all consuming in their day-to-day life. Here are things you need to know about this balance disorder that will make your head spin.
First and foremost, vertigo is much more than just your everyday dizziness. Vertigo is a sense of motion even when you’re steady and in place. According to experts in the field, when a person has vertigo, they might feel that the room is spinning around them or swaying like a boat that is about to capsize.
Your sense of balance depends on the signals that your sensory nerves, inner ear, and eyes all report back to your brain. If the signals that were sent by your inner ear do not match up with what your sensory nerves and eyes are reporting, your brain has to sort through the confusion. This is what then leads to vertigo.
In addition, the severe spinning motion caused by vertigo usually leads to vomiting, nausea, and difficulty walking.
Vertigo can feel like the room is:
Other symptoms that may come with vertigo include:
If you think you have vertigo, you will need to go to your doctor to be properly diagnosed. Your doctor will diagnose your condition based on your description of your symptoms. There are two main categories of vertigo: peripheral vertigo and central vertigo.
Vertigo can be caused by two things: the first cause is a virus called labyrinthitis. This is an infection in the inner ear that causes the labyrinth to become inflamed.
The second cause of vertigo is a problem with the inner ear called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV. This happens when the calcium crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and send false messages to the brain that you are in motion. According to experts, this can happen during a sudden, jarring motion like after a strong blow to the head or riding a roller coaster. There is no known reason why BPPV occurs, but it is likely triggered by age.
Vertigo can also be caused by inner ear disorders such as Meniere’s Disease, an excessive build-up of fluid in the inner ear. This can cause episodes of vertigo which is accompanied by ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.
Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis is another inner ear problem related to infections (typically viral) which can cause vertigo. The infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around the nerves which are essential in helping the body sense balance.
Less common causes of vertigo are injuries such as:
Treatment for vertigo will depend on what’s causing it. In most cases, vertigo can go away on its own. This is because the brain is a high-functioning organ and is able to adapt quickly to inner ear changes, relying on other signals from the body to maintain balance.
For other causes of vertigo, treatment may include:
Fortunately, you don’t have to live with vertigo because you can take the right medicine for it or undergo the proper treatment. The more you know about vertigo, the better you can battle and deal with it.