VERTIGO

Have you ever tried to stand up from sitting and you get a weird, somewhat scary sensation of feeling off balance? Or you may just be doing your usual daily routine and suddenly feel dizzy. You may just have vertigo.

If you feel the sensation that the room is spinning and you're not drunk, you might have vertigo.The most staple symptom that a person with vertigo may feel is dizziness. Whether you are reading a book in your favorite sanctuary or on vacation at a beach - there's no telling when or where vertigo can target you.

On the surface, vertigo may just be looked upon as a condition that causes dizzy spells. However, if we dig deeper, vertigo may actually pose to be an emergency, as it affects the normal function and movement of a person.

In addition, vertigo is also a dangerous combination to older people because they are more prone to falls and injuries.

Causes of Vertigo

The most common cause of vertigo is pointed towards an inner ear problem. 

Vertigo might be caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (quite a mouthful) so we'll just go with BBPV. This condition occurs when canaliths, also known as tiny calcium particles, are dislodged from their original location and settle in the inner ear.

This causes problems because the inner ear is responsible for sending signals to the brain about head and body movements. This is the portion that is relative to gravity, so problems in the inner ear may most likely affect your balance.  An unsettling fact about BBPV is that it may occur for no reason and may be associated with age.

Another possible cause of vertigo is Meniere's Disease. This inner ear disorder is linked to the buildup of fluid which changes the pressure of the ear.  Aside from causing vertigo, Meniere's disease may bring along hearing loss and/or ringing in the ears. A person suffering from Meniere's disease may also need to see a therapist to help manage the ringing in the ears, also known as tinnitus. Tinnitus is a whole other condition but may be as impactful to a person's daily life with vertigo.

Labyrinthitis, otherwise known as vestibular neuritis, might also be the underlying cause of vertigo. This is usually linked to a viral infection.What's up with viral infections and why is it connected to vertigo? The thing is, viral infections cause an inflammation in the inner ear and nerves around it which are known to play a big role in maintaining the body's sensation of balance.

Other less common causes of vertigo may include the following:
       •   migraine headache
       •   head or neck injury
       •   certain drugs that may cause ear damage (ototoxic)
       •   brain problems such as tumor or stroke

Symptoms of Vertigo

There's a fleeting, ordinary sensation of dizziness or nausea and then there's vertigo.  

With vertigo, dizziness is usually triggered with a simple or sudden change of position of the head.

People diagnosed with vertigo usually describe their feeling as:
       •   Being pulled to one direction
       •   Spinning
       •   Swaying
       •   Tilting
       •   Unbalanced

Other symptoms that may be noticed with vertigo include:
       •   Vomiting
       •   Feeling nauseated
       •   Headache
       •   Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
       •   Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
       •   Sweating

How to Treat Vertigo

The treatment or intervention for vertigo depends on what's triggering it. 

In most cases, vertigo goes away without any treatment. This is because the brain can adapt easily to the inner ear changes, relying on the body's mechanism to maintain balance. 

However, there are also cases where treatment for severe vertigo is needed.

It may include:
       •   vestibular rehabilitation
       •   canalith repositioning maneuvers
       •   medicine
       •   surgery

If vertigo is caused by a more serious underlying problem such as an injury to the brain or a tumor, treatment for these concerns must be applied to help alleviate vertigo and its symptoms.

Ontario Hearing Centers - Rochester New York

Vertigo can really take a toll and cause problems on a person's daily routine. If vertigo is already affecting your hearing and balance, a visit to an audiologist is highly recommended. Our audiologists at Ontario Hearing Centers are well-experienced to handle vertigo and related issues. Feel free to visit us at our Brighton or Gates office.

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