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What Really is Vertigo?

Vertigo is the sensation of rotation, rocking, or spinning environment that’s experienced even when someone’s really still. People with these dizzy bouts might feel like they are spinning or the environment around them is spinning.

What causes vertigo?

An inner ear condition is often the cause of vertigo. Here are some common vertigo triggers:

BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, occurs when canaliths (tiny calcium particles) build up in the inner ear canals. The inner ear transmits signals about head and body motions relative to gravity to the brain. This helps people maintain balance.

BPPV has no known cause but it may be age-related.

Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis

This is a condition of the inner ear that is often due to viral infection. The infection leads to inner ear inflammation around vital nerves that help the body gain balance.

Meniere’s disease

This inner ear condition is thought to result from a build up of fluid as well as changes in pressure in the inner ear. It can result in vertigo episodes along with hearing loss and tinnitus.
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.

The symptoms of vertigo

Vertigo itself is one symptom, instead of being a medical disorder that has signs and symptoms.

People with vertigo usually feel as if they are spinning, swaying, unbalanced, tilting, and pulled to a certain direction.

Other symptoms that might occur alongside vertigo include tinnitus, hearing loss, headache, vomiting, sweating, feeling nauseated, and jerking or irregular eye movements.

Symptoms can occur and disappear and can last a few hours or even a few minutes.

Treatment options for vertigo

Your vertigo treatment option depends on the cause of the problem. More often than not, vertigo disappears without any treatment. So, why is this? This is due to the fact that partly to inner ear changes at least, the brain may adapt, relying on other means to 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

Medicines may sometimes be given to relieve such symptoms as motion sickness and nausea that are elated to vertigo. For vertigo that is due to inflammation or infection, some steroids or antibiotics may be given to relieve swelling and cure infection. For Meniere’s disease, you may be prescribed diuretics, aka water pills, to ease the pressure resulting from fluid buildup.

Surgery

A few cases of vertigo may require surgery. If the vertigo is due to something serious like neck or brain injury, or tumor, treating those problems can help relieve the vertigo.
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