What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a condition in which you feel off-balance and dizzy, as if you or your surroundings are moving, spinning, or swaying. It can lead to nausea and disability. Vertigo is most common in elderly people, but it can affect both sexes at any age. It may be a temporary or permanent condition.Many children attempt to create a sense of vertigo by spinning around for a time; this type of induced vertigolasts for a few moments and then disappears. In comparison, when vertigo occurs spontaneously or as a result of an injury it tends to last for many hours or even days before resolving.
What Causes Vertigo?
There are a number of different causes of vertigo. Vertigo can be defined based upon whether the cause is peripheral or central. Central causes of vertigo arise in the brain or spinal cord while peripheral vertigo is due to a problem within the inner ear. The inner ear can become inflamed because of illness, or small crystals or stones found normally within the inner ear can become displaced and cause irritation to the small hair cells within the semicircular canals, leading to vertigo. This is known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Meniere's disease, vertigo associated with hearing lossand tinnitus (ringing in the ear), is caused by fluid buildup within the inner ear; the cause of this fluid accumulation is unknown.
What are the Symptoms of Vertigo?
Vertigo is the primary symptom of any balance disorder. If you close your eyes during an episode of vertigo, you'll feel as if you're spinning or falling. Severe vertigo can cause vomiting and stop you from walking. Because the vestibular system is linked to the brain's movement center and to the eyes, some people with vestibular disorders find their vision is affected, or their muscles are poorly coordinated or don't go where they're supposed to. The muscles may ache, particularly in the neck and back. Some people complain of other symptoms during attacks of vertigo, like memory problems or difficulty reading. Most people find the struggle against vertigo physically exhausting. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to hours.
Treatment and Prevention options for Vertigo
Many cases of vertigo, even severe vertigo, such as in labyrinthitis, clear up on their own, but it usually takes time. Depending on the cause of the vertigo, a doctor may recommend any number of treatments, ranging from antibiotics and other medications to surgery. The doctor may also suggest some exercises that help to build tolerance to vertigo, making episodes less intense and shorter. For benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, there is an effective treatment called the particle repositioning maneuver. Your doctor or therapist may perform this series of head movements on you during an acute attack, then teach you how to do the movements yourself should the attack recur.
Controlling risk factors for stroke may decrease the risk of developing central vertigo. This includes making sure that blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and blood glucoselevels are in optimal ranges. To decrease symptoms of vertigo in cases of Meniere's disease, controlling salt intake may be helpful. So, make sure to check all your numbers in time and prevent vertigo from happening.