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Vertigo

Vertigo is a condition when you feel as if you are spinning in circles. You can feel dizzy and out of balance. Vertigo is a symptom of different problems. It may occur due to different reasons but the main cause is within your inner ear. Sometimes, people confuse vertigo with dizziness. Both are different problems but may occur due to balance issues. Dizziness is a feeling of unbalance within your entire body but vertigo is a feeling that everything around you is spinning in circles.

Vertigo can occur at any age but people above the age of 65 are more affected. Women are more likely to suffer from vertigo as compared to men. It is a common problem and one may experience it at least once in a lifetime. Vertigo may last for a few seconds to several minutes. But, some people may experience it for a longer duration. Vertigo is not a serious problem but it may be linked to other complicated health issues. If you experience recurrent episodes of vertigo, you must visit a doctor.

Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo may occur due to different reasons. Some common causes of vertigo include the following:

Genetic factors may cause vertigo in people who experience frequent episodes

Other health conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere’s disease, Labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, and repeated ear infections can cause vertigo.

Other causes of vertigo are:

  • Arrhythmia

  • Injuries to head

  • Migraine headaches

  • Some medicines

  • Stroke

  • Diabetes

  • Resting in bed for a long time

  • Surgery of the ear

  • Hyperventilation

  • Low blood pressure

  • Perilymphatic fistula

  • Weakness of muscles

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Acoustic neuroma

Symptoms of Vertigo

As stated above, vertigo is not a disease in itself but it could be a symptom of different medical problems. But, vertigo can occur along with other symptoms such as:

  • Headache

  • Problems in maintaining balance

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Motion sickness

  • Tinnitus

  • A feeling of fullness in the ear

Diagnosis of vertigo

You can visit the CARE Hospitals to meet a specialised doctor for a consultation. The doctor at the CARE Hospitals will do a physical examination and will ask you some questions related to your symptoms. The doctor may also recommend some tests for confirmation. The doctor at the CARE Hospitals can perform the following tests to diagnose vertigo:

Fukuda- Unterberger’s test: Your doctor will ask you to walk in a place for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean on one side it indicates that there is some problem in the inner ear which could be the cause of vertigo.

Romberg’s test: In this test, the doctor will ask you to close your eyes and stand with your feet close together and arms on your side. If you feel imbalance it means that the problem is with your central nervous system.

Head impulse test: In this test, the doctor will move your head gently on each side when you focus on a stationary target. This will help the doctor to know how the inner ear balance system is working and controlling your eye movements while your head is moving.

Vestibular test battery: It includes different tests that help to diagnose the problems with the inner ear. The doctor will place goggles over your eyes to monitor the movement of your eyes when you are also moving your eyes to follow a target, move your head and body, and after that they put warm and cool water in your ear canal.

The doctor can also recommend a CT scan and MRI along with the above tests for a proper diagnosis of the problem.

Treatment

In many cases, vertigo may go away on its own. But, in some cases, the doctor may recommend treatment that can help you to manage vertigo and other symptoms.

The treatment for vertigo depends on many factors. Some of the common treatment methods used for treating vertigo include the following:

Medicines: It is important to treat the main cause of vertigo. If your vertigo is caused due to recurrent infections of the middle ear, the doctor will recommend antibiotics or steroids for reducing inflammation, nausea, and other symptoms.

Vestibular rehabilitation: This type of treatment is recommended if vertigo occurs due to the problem of the inner ear. Physical therapy can help in strengthening your other senses to reduce the episodes of vertigo.

Canalith repositioning procedure (CRP): If a person suffers from vertigo, the doctor may recommend canalith repositioning manoeuvres that can help to move calcium deposits into an inner ear chamber which will get absorbed by your body.

Surgery: Surgery is recommended when vertigo occurs due to a serious underlying problem such as a brain tumour or injury to the neck.

Conclusion

Vertigo is a feeling of spinning everything around. A person may feel lightheaded, sick, and have balance problems. It may be a symptom of other medical conditions such as labyrinthitis, Meniere’s disease, etc. Vertigo may go on its own in many cases, but in some cases, you may have to visit a doctor for proper treatment. The doctor may recommend medicines, lifestyle changes, or surgery depending on your individual needs and symptoms. 

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