Vertigo is a dizziness typified by a sense of movement, of the patient or the environment, that can vary from a subtle rocking sensation to true spinning, and is most often associated with an inner ear problem. There are many causes of vertigo including stroke, low blood pressure, cardiac dysrhythmias, and disorders such as Ménière’s disease. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), or spinning that is caused by a change in head position is very common and can be easily evaluated in the office.

According to Mayo Clinic, common symptoms of vertigo are the following:

  • Dizziness
  • The feeling that you’re spinning
  • Lightheadedness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of balance
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea/Vomiting

All forms of dizziness are concerning as the symptom can be part of a number of serious conditions. Should your dizziness last continuously for more than one week combined with hearing loss, trouble speaking, chest pain or numbness, you should be evaluated at an emergency room. You may realize you have symptoms of vertigo when you make a sudden change in the position of your head, abruptly rise to your feet, or start walking.

How is The Ear Involved?

The vestibular labyrinth includes three structures called semicircular canals that contain fluid and fine, hair like sensors.  In BPPV the otolith organs, which are sensitive to gravity and send information about your sense of stability to your brain, lose otoliths or stones to the fluid in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. Sometimes called “crystals”, these suspended fragments move inside the semicircular canals of the vestibular labyrinth, stimulating the balance nerves and a sensation of spinning is experienced.

Vertigo is known to occur more frequently in individuals 60 and older.  There are no severe complications with vertigo aside from the possibility of vomiting at which point it is possible that you are dehydrated.

To help Dr. Brandeisky treat you properly upon your visit to the office, consider having a family member tag along, write down questions you may have, write your symptoms down, note any significant injuries, and provide your medical information including a complete list of medications and chronic medical conditions that are being treated using the downloadable documents available under the resources tab.

Contact Dr. Brandeisky today to learn more about a diagnosis, how to cure vertigo, and if you need any tests.  Follow Dr. Brandeisky on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates.

Sources: Mayo Clinic, On Health.

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