What is Vertigo?

31 octombrie 2022by Dr. Duygu Daragiu Ada0

It is the sensation that makes you feel that you are moving when stable or the environment around you is spinning. Although specifically named with a word from old Latin (vertigo: to turn), it’s basically a symptom rather than a disease, meaning that it is the result of some underlying condition. This moving/spinning perception confuses your balance and sight senses, and therefore, is frequently accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
The severity of it may vary; sometimes a barely noticeable feeling and sometimes so powerful that you cannot complete your everyday tasks properly. It is very probable that you will also have these additional symptoms:

  • Loss of balance that can even make it hard to walk and even stand
  • Feeling of sickness
  • Dizziness
How is Vertigo Diagnosed?

Patient’s own story about complaints is the starting point of diagnosis. If the doctor believes it’s a Vertigo case, you will probably be asked to have tests related to central nervous system or inner ear. Doppler ultrasound, CT angiography and MRI scan can also be needed if the underlying condition is suspected to be poor blood flow to the brain.

Diseases Causing Vertigo

There are definitely many risk factors that may cause mild attacks like migraines, stroke, diabetes, hyperventilation, low blood pressure, prolonged bad sleep and even pregnancy. However, severe cases generally arouse due to these illnesses:

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Being the most frequent cause, this is an inner ear problem where head movements can trigger vertigo. People suffering BPPV face acute Vertigo attacks when turning to sides, leaning back or sitting up.
  • Meniere’s disease: This disease generally shows itself in one of the inner ears and ruins balance and hearing as well. It can cause different levels of hearing losses, dizziness, ringing sounds and sometimes fullness in the ear.
  • Cholesteatoma: Multiple instances of ear infections or wrongly treated ones sometimes cause non-cancerous tissue growth behind the eardrum. In some cases this tissue grows too big that it can affect hearing and balance.
  • Labyrinthitis: Our brains figure out the outer world with information from our senses and define correct balance against gravity, and most of this information comes from our inner eras. When there is an infection in the inner ear labyrinth (labyrinthitis), the information sent to the brain becomes falsely encoded. This leads to experiences of headaches, ear pain, vision issues, tinnitus or hearing loss, especially with head motions.
  • Vestibular neuritis: Just like labyrinthitis, inflammation of the vestibular nerve also causes the same balance problems, only except hearing. Vestibular neuritis differentiates from Labyrinthitis with its additional symptoms of blurred vision.


How is Vertigo Treated?

Proper treatment depends on the underlying cause. If the cause is an infection, your physician will probably prescribe antibiotics. If the infection doesn’t heal with antibiotics, surgical treatment may be your next choice.

For Vertigo cases caused by Menier’s disease, patients will be given a salt-free (or low salt) diet and maybe additional medication to ease urination. In benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) cases, complaints generally resolve in time but physical treatments can be applied for better and faster results. Again, if Vertigo becomes steady, surgery can be considered.

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