Vertigo is a common condition experienced by a majority of the population irrespective of age. Vertigo is likely to hit people who are above the age group of 50 years as age factor is one of the major vertigo causes. But it can even occur in young people if underlying vertigo cause is present in them.
A spinning sensation where a person may feel he is spinning or the nearby surroundings are spinning, which in reality is static is referred to as vertigo. Simply we can say in vertigo a patient experiences an illusion of movement. A person may experience a loss of equilibrium or feel dizzy while experiencing sudden vertigo spells. They appear without any warning and make the person uneasy. Recurring episodes of vertigo makes it difficult to live with vertigo as it causes hindrance in daily chores and effects the simplest of activities like walking and running.
Vertigo is not a disease itself but is a symptom of various underlying causes. Mild vertigo is treated well at home with certain home remedies and maintaining a healthy lifestyle habit. If the case becomes severe or you are experiencing vertigo spells for a longer duration, seeking medical help is recommended. An expert neurologist will carry certain tests depending on vertigo symptoms to examine the underlying cause. He would suggest the right vertigo treatments, therapy, maneuvers and prescribe vertigo medications to treat the cause.
It is recommended to pay close attention to vertigo symptoms as soon as it starts emerging to prevent it from getting worse. Nausea and vomiting are the most common vertigo symptoms found in the patients experiencing bouts of vertigo. After understanding what is vertigo, now is the time to understand vertigo symptoms and the underlying vertigo causes which make a patient experience vertigo spells.
What are the most common vertigo symptoms?
Vertigo symptoms are often confused with symptoms of lightheadedness or dizziness as it may sometimes show a similar set of symptoms. But vertigo is entirely different from dizziness and motion sickness. In vertigo, a patient may experience an illusion of spinning whereas motion sickness is referred to as a feeling of getting off-balance and loss of equilibrium which is caused due to repetitive motions.
If a person is experiencing vertigo conditions he/she may experience any of the following symptoms or a combination of symptoms listed below:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Spinning sensation
- Jerking of eyes or abnormal eye movements
- Loss of hearing ability
- Ringing sensation in the ear known as tinnitus
- Visual disturbances or blurry vision
- Unclear speech
- Decreased level of consciousness
- Difficulty in walking or running
Vertigo symptoms may last for a few seconds to minutes to hours depending on the severity of the condition. Vertigo symptoms may be chronic or persistent depending on underlying vertigo cause. Sometimes vertigo symptoms get triggered with the changes in the position of the head. If you have experienced any head injury in the recent past, it is advised to consult your situation with your doctor for the right treatment. The doctor will ask you to undergo various tests like
CT scans, blood tests, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and electrocardiogram (ECG), etc. depending on the symptoms to examine the accurate cause of vertigo.
What are the most common vertigo causes?
Vertigo is not a disease but a symptom of various underlying causes. A person may experience vertigo spells if he/she is experiencing inflammation or disorder in the inner ear, brain, vestibular system or central nervous system. Vertigo conditions get triggered due to sudden movement in the position of the head. Age factor can be one such cause of vertigo conditions in a patient.
Meniere’s disease, tumors, multiple sclerosis, head trauma, neck injury, migraine headaches, diabetes, unhealthy lifestyle habits are some of the common vertigo causes diagnosed in patients experiencing bouts of vertigo.
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Let’s have a detailed look at some of the most common vertigo causes:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
It is the most common cause of vertigo found in the majority of patients who experience sudden bouts of vertigo spells. A person suffering from BPPV vertigo may experience a spinning sensation that lasts for up to a few seconds to minutes. BPPV is caused due to the deposition of calcium crystals in the inner ear, which blocks the vestibular nerve. It is responsible for sending signals from the inner ear to the brain which regulates the balance of the body. Sudden movements in the position of the head or waking up suddenly after long sleep may trigger the symptoms of vertigo caused by BPPV. It can be treated well with certain vertigo home remedies and repositioning maneuvers that help in repositioning calcium crystals.
Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis
Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis is an inner ear disorder that affects the hearing ability of the person and causes a loss of equilibrium. It can be caused due to simple Cold, flu, a middle ear infection that spreads in the inner ear and so on. A person suffering from labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis may experience sudden bouts of vertigo accompanied by hearing loss. The vestibular nerve becomes inflamed in Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis which is responsible for sending signals to the brain from the inner ear, thus making a person feel dizzy or off balance. Labyrinthitis is commonly caused due to viral or bacterial inner ear infection.
It is a chronic condition where a person experiences a fluid buildup in the inner ear. The increased pressure in the inner ear causes bouts of vertigo spells in patients and sometimes even leads to loss of permanent hearing ability. Meniere disease may affect both the ears and either of the ears depending on the severity of the condition.
It is a rare case diagnosed in patients suffering from vertigo. But it is one of the responsible causes of vertigo if the patient is suffering from Acoustic neuroma. It is referred to as a tumor in the nerve tissue of the inner ear that is responsible for causing vertigo spells.
Apart from these, head injury or trauma, whiplash injury, multiple sclerosis, common conditions like diabetes and low blood pressure, vestibular migraines are some other vertigo causes that are diagnosed in patients during tests.
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What are Vertigo treatments and vertigo medication?
Mild vertigo conditions are treated well with certain vertigo home remedies such as drinking ginger tea twice a day or taking a well-balanced diet rich in vitamin D. Your doctor may even suggest you with certain repositioning maneuvers such as Epley, Brandt Daroff exercise, foster exercises and so on which should be practiced regularly for up to 3 weeks for a complete recovery from vertigo conditions. If the condition is severe and vertigo symptoms don’t seem to ease with these exercises and natural remedies then your doctor may advise you for physical therapies to treat the condition. He will prescribe certain vertigo medicines for treating the underlying cause of vertigo. A dose of 3 days is generally recommended by doctors, it is advised not to continue the vertigo medication for a longer duration if symptoms don’t seem to ease.
Meclizine Tablet, Betahistine, Stemetil Tablet, Cinnarizine, Stugeron Forte Tablet, Vertin Tablet are some of the best and commonly prescribed vertigo medicines. Apart from those, Benzodiazepines, Dimenhydrinate, Metaclopromide, Procloperazine, Promethazine, Piracetam, Scopolamine are some other vertigo medicines that are suggested by doctors to treat vertigo after identifying the underlying cause of vertigo.