Vertigo is a common sensation that can make you feel dizzy or off-balance. While people often use the terms “dizziness” and “vertigo” interchangeably, dizziness indicates a wider range of symptoms. Vertigo is the specific kind of dizziness where you feel like the world is spinning when it’s standing still. It can be very disorienting and can range in severity from very mild to relatively severe. In some cases, it can affect your quality of life and may prevent you from doing the things you would like to do.
What Causes Vertigo?
A range of issues can cause vertigo, but perhaps the most common cause is inner ear problems. One such condition is called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV for short. In this case, there is a buildup of calcium in the ear that affects your balance. Meniere’s disease can also result in vertigo. However, this condition is caused not by calcium but by a buildup of fluid in the inner ear. A virus or bacteria can also cause vestibular neuritis, or inflammation in the inner ear, which can also result in vertigo.
While vertigo can occasionally be caused by a head injury, tumor, migraines, or certain medications, these causes are significantly less prevalent.
Major Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo is a symptom itself; it’s not the root cause of a problem. However, there are some common feelings associated with vertigo. These include feeling unbalanced, feeling pulled to one side, tilting, swaying, and spinning. All of these symptoms can be disorienting. In addition to these primary symptoms, the feeling of vertigo can produce other symptoms, as well. For example, you could have a headache, feel nauseous, start vomiting, sweat, or hear a ringing in your ears. You may even experience jerking eye movements outside of your control. These symptoms can be momentary or last for a significant amount of time.
Lots of times, you won’t need any treatment at all for vertigo. The feeling will simply go away on its own. That’s because the inner ear adapts to changes in its environment and adjusts to allow you to move freely. Depending on the cause, getting a good night of sleep may be able to help you feel better.
However, if the issue does not go away on its own, it’s a good idea to schedule a visit to talk to your doctor. He or she can give you an overview of the different treatment options available. Vestibular rehabilitation is a strategy that strengthens the vestibular system, which helps you maintain your sense of balance. If you have a buildup of calcium deposits in your ear, canalith repositioning maneuvers may be performed. In some cases, medicine may be necessary.
No matter what’s causing your vertigo, at Prime Medical Associates, we can help. We help patients all over Dartmouth, Massachusetts, find the relief they deserve. To set up an appointment or talk to us about your symptoms, give us a call or visit us online. You’ll be feeling like new in no time at all.