If you have been feeling off balance off late, chances are you might have vertigo. A person suffering from vertigo has a false sense of spinning dizziness. In this, the person feels that they are spinning, or that the world around them is spinning. It is not as commonly believed a fear of heights, but can occur when looking down from a great height. There are various reasons why a person may start to show vertigo symptoms:
Causes of vertigo
Vertigo most typically happens when there is something wrong with the inner ear, brain or the sensory nerve pathway.
Most common causes of vertigo are:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): This is a problem in the inner ear, that sends signals to the head and body regarding movements in keeping in tune with gravity. BPPV means that tiny calcium particles have collected in the canals of the inner ear.
Labyrinthus: Technically known as vestibular neuritis, this happens due to a viral infection in the inner ear that weaken nerves important for the body sense balance.
Meniere’s disease: Due to the buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the inner ear, a person might start to feel giddy. In this, vertigo might be followed by ringing in the ears and even hearing loss.
However, there are some less common causes that people have reported like:
- Head or neck injury
- A migraine headache
- Stroke or tumour
- Medications that might have caused ear damage
Symptoms of vertigo
Vertigo can be a symptom of other conditions or has a set of specific symptoms of its own. Common symptoms include:
- Spinning or swaying
- A feeling of being tilted or pulled to one direction
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements
- Ringing in the ears
How does vertigo impact your life?
Vertigo can happen at any age, but it is the age group of 65 years and above that most exhibits this condition. Vertigo may come and go – it can be a temporary or long-term. Persistent vertigo is often linked to mental health issues and may require medication. Vertigo can hinder day to day functioning and could lead to anxiety and even depression if not dealt with properly.
How can vertigo be treated?
Most commonly, vertigo comes and goes. But treatment would depend on the cause. Medication to treat the underlying cause definitely helps. Physical therapy might also be prescribed to strengthen the vestibular system. In rare cases, inner surgery is carried out to treat patients with intractable benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
The outlook for people suffering from vertigo is certainly positive with some lifestyle changes involved. These people should refrain from driving. Certain changes can be made at home and cane can be employed while walking to prevent falls. They are also advised getting up slowly, and not making sudden changes in head position!