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What to Know About Vertigo Vertigo refers to a sensation of rocking, rotation, or the environment spinning that’s experienced even when one is perfectly still. People with these dizzy bouts might feel like they are spinning or the environment around them is spinning. Causes of vertigo Vertigo is usually brought about by an inner ear problem. Some common causes of vertigo include:
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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, commonly called BPPV, occurs when some calcium particles, or canaliths, accumulate in the inner ear canals. The inner ear transmits signals about head and body motions relative to gravity to the brain. This helps us maintain balance.
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There’s no known cause of BPPV and it can be due to age. Labyrinthitis/vestibular neuritis This is a condition of the inner ear that is often due to viral infection. The infection results in inflammation of the inner ear around crucial nerves that help your body gain balance. Meniere’s disease This disorder of the inner ear said to be due to an accumulation of fluid as well as pressure changes in the ear. It can lead to vertigo episodes as well as tinnitus and hearing loss. Less common triggers for vertigo include migraine headaches, brain problems like tumor or stroke, some medicines that cause ear damage, as well as neck/head injury. Vertigo symptoms Vertigo can be described as one symptom, rather than a condition that exhibits signs and symptoms. People suffering with vertigo normally feel as they’re spinning, tilting, swaying, pulled to a single direction, and unbalanced. Other symptoms may accompany vertigo, including feeling nauseated, vomiting, sweating, headache, abnormal/jerking eye movements (nystagmus), tinnitus or hearing loss. Symptoms can last a few hours or minutes and may occur and then go away. Vertigo treatment options Your vertigo treatment option depends on the cause of the problem. More often than not, vertigo disappears without any treatment. So, what’s the reason? Well, this is because the brain can adapt, at least partly to the changes in the inner ear, relying on other methods to maintain balance. Some people may require treatment, which can include: Vestibular rehabilitation This is a form of physical therapy that’s designed to help make the vestibular system stronger. The vestibular system transmits signals to the brain about body and head motions relative to gravity. Drugs Sometimes medicines may be prescribed to help ease symptoms such as motion sickness or nausea associated with vertigo. For vertigo that results from infection or inflammation, some antibiotics and steroids can be prescribed to minimize swelling as well as treat infection. For Meniere’s disease, you may be prescribed diuretics, aka water pills, to ease the pressure resulting from fluid buildup. Surgical procedure Surgery may be required for vertigo in a few instances. If the vertigo is due to something serious like neck or brain injury, or tumor, treating those problems can help relieve the vertigo.