Vertigo is indeed a symptom rather than a standalone condition. It refers to the perception of movement or spinning, either of oneself or the surrounding environment, when there is no actual movement occurring. It can be described as a sensation of dizziness, lightheadedness, or a spinning sensation.
Loading the player...What is Vertigo and How Does it Affect You? <p> Paediatric <a href="https://www.healthchoicesfirst.com/practitioner-type/otolaryngologist">Otolaryngologist </a>discusses diagnosis and symptoms of vertigo.</p>
Paediatric Otolaryngologist discusses diagnosis and symptoms of vertigo.
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Physiotherapist, discusses what is vertigo and how it can be treated.
What is Vertigo and How Does it Affect You ?
Dizziness and vertigo are both symptoms related to balance and can cause a sense of disorientation. While dizziness is a general term that can refer to various sensations, such as feeling lightheaded, off balance, or wavy, vertigo specifically refers to the perception that the environment or surroundings are spinning or moving.
Dizziness can be caused by various factors, including inner ear problems, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's disease, or vestibular neuritis. Other potential causes include low blood pressure, medication side effects, anxiety or panic disorders, anemia, dehydration, or certain neurological conditions.
Vertigo, on the other hand, is commonly associated with issues in the inner ear, particularly with the vestibular system responsible for maintaining balance. It can occur due to conditions like BPPV, Meniere's disease, labyrinthitis, or vestibular migraine. Additionally, head injuries, such as concussions or whiplash, can also lead to vertigo.
Experiencing dizziness or vertigo can indeed be unsettling, particularly when they arise suddenly or unexpectedly. It's important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation and diagnosis if you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms of dizziness or vertigo. They can help determine the underlying cause and recommend appropriate treatment options or refer you to a specialist if necessary.
Dizziness and vertigo can have various causes, and they can be related to different systems in the body. Some of the common causes include:
Inner ear problems: The inner ear plays a crucial role in maintaining balance. Conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière's disease, and labyrinthitis can cause dizziness and vertigo.
Vestibular migraine: Migraines that are accompanied by dizziness, vertigo, and other vestibular symptoms are known as vestibular migraines.
Medications: Certain medications can have side effects that include dizziness or vertigo.
Cardiovascular issues: Dizziness can be a symptom of heart-related problems such as low blood pressure, arrhythmias, or insufficient blood flow to the brain.
Neurological disorders: Conditions like multiple sclerosis, stroke, and tumors affecting the brain or cerebellum can lead to dizziness or vertigo.
Cervical vertigo: Neck problems, such as cervical spine disorders or whiplash injuries, can cause dizziness and vertigo.
Anxiety and panic disorders: Intense anxiety or panic attacks can sometimes cause symptoms similar to dizziness or vertigo.
It's important to note that the presence of additional symptoms like double vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking or swallowing, or sudden falls or balance problems can be indicators of a more serious underlying condition. In such cases, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention from a healthcare professional or visit the emergency room. They can evaluate your symptoms and provide appropriate care.
The most common cause for vertigo related to the inner ear is a condition called BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. So people with BPPV tend to experience vertigo or nausea with positional changes.
A good place to start if you're looking to treat your dizziness or vertigo is to seek help from your local physiotherapist particularly one who specializes in vestibular rehabilitation.
When you visit a physiotherapist for vertigo or balance-related issues, they will typically begin by taking a detailed history of your symptoms and conducting an assessment. This assessment may involve observing your general posture and movement patterns, as well as performing specific tests to evaluate your balance, coordination, gait, stability, and positional responses. This helps the physiotherapist determine the underlying cause of your vertigo, such as BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), which is characterized by dislodged crystals in the inner ear.
If BPPV is identified as the cause of your vertigo, the physiotherapist may recommend a technique called the Epley maneuver or canalith repositioning procedure. This technique involves repositioning your head in specific ways to help move the dislodged crystals back to their proper position within the inner ear. By doing so, the Epley maneuver aims to restore your normal balance and coordination, and reduce or eliminate your vertigo symptoms. It can be an effective treatment for BPPV, and the physiotherapist will guide you through the procedure.
The overall goal of physiotherapy in managing vertigo is not only to provide immediate relief but also to help prevent future episodes. Physiotherapists can develop customized exercise programs to improve your balance, coordination, and overall vestibular function, which can reduce the likelihood of vertigo recurrence.
Vertigo is often caused by disturbances in the inner ear, which plays a crucial role in maintaining balance. The inner ear contains structures such as the semicircular canals and otolith organs, which detect changes in head position and movement. These signals are then sent to the brain to help maintain balance.
Some common causes of vertigo include:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This occurs when tiny calcium crystals called canaliths in the inner ear become dislodged and disrupt the normal flow of fluid, leading to brief episodes of vertigo.
Ménière's disease: This chronic condition is characterized by recurring episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. It is thought to be caused by an abnormal buildup of fluid in the inner ear.
Vestibular neuritis: This is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve, usually resulting from a viral infection. It causes sudden, severe vertigo that can last for days or weeks.
Labyrinthitis: Similar to vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear, usually due to an infection. It can cause vertigo, hearing loss, and ringing in the ears.
Medications: Certain medications, such as those used to treat high blood pressure or seizures, can have vertigo as a side effect.
Treatment for vertigo depends on the underlying cause. It may involve medications to relieve symptoms, physical therapy exercises to improve balance, or maneuvers to reposition dislodged crystals in the inner ear in the case of BPPV. If you experience recurrent or severe vertigo, it's important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.