Vertigo is one of the more complicated illnesses to deal with. It can affect people suddenly and it is often confused with other ailments because it comes with varied symptoms. It occurs most commonly when something causes conflict in the signals of the brain. These signals are sent to the various balance-sensing areas of the body and brain. It can cause confusion in the body and create a whirlwind of confusion for the senses. When dizziness and vertigo come on suddenly, prompt evaluation is recommended in order to rule out serious ailments.
Some patients with dizziness experience vertigo; vertigo is a type of dizziness. Vertigo is the sensation of the room spinning or whirling. Vertigo can occur in patients of any age and can have a variety of causes. Common causes of vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), and labyrinthitis. Less common causes include Meniere’s disease and migraines-associated vertigo. In BPPV, small calcium crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and lead to vertigo. BPPV-associated vertigo events usually last for seconds. Treatment involves a series of exercises which re-align the displaced crystals. Labyrinthitis is an infection of the inner ear. Usually this is a self-limited viral infection, but on occasion a bacterial infection may be the source.
Have you ever seen someone get seasick? Or perhaps watched someone start to feel nauseous when they’re reading a book in a moving vehicle? As motion sickness occurs through signals between the eyes, inner ear, and deep tissues, vertigo can produce a similar symptom. If there is constant nausea and vomiting, seek help immediately.
Dizziness comes with a lightheaded feeling. Patients often feel they are about to faint. This can often be made better by lying down. However, some spells are much worse than others and if it gets worse, it can become severe enough to cause one to faint. Lightheadedness is often not an ear-related problem, and may be associated with a cold, allergies, diarrhea, dehydration, alcohol or stress.
Painful and debilitating headaches known as migraines are a common symptom. This can cause a whole host of additional problems including nausea. Sensitivity to light, smells and volume can also occur. Some patients may suffer Migraine-Associated Vertigo which can be successfully treated once diagnosed, usually in consultation with a Neurologist.
Triggers and Treatments
Since dizziness and vertigo may have a variety of causes and triggers, the treatment for it can vary based on the source. Vertigo requires the diagnosis of a medical professional. If symptoms are severe, a trip to the ER may be warranted to rule out any serious, life-threatening conditions.