Symptoms of vertigo are one of the most common reasons for seeking medical attention and advice. Vertigo is said to be the illusion or hallucination of movement, usually a spinning or rotational feeling of either the environment or yourself. If you have every been on a merry go round ride or as a child spun around in circles a lot, then you would know what it is like to experience the feeling of vertigo. Together with this feeling of dizziness, you may also have experienced lightheadedness, unbalanced, a headache and nausea or sickness in your stomach. It is important to understand that dizziness or vertigo is not a disease but often a symptom. Symptoms of vertigo can be caused by a range of conditions from non-serious conditions to more serious conditions like vascular and neurological causes.
The feelings of dizziness or vertigo happen when our balance or equilibrium becomes affected. In our inner ear are semicircular canals that govern our equilibrium. Inside the semicircular canals are tiny hairs that sit in fluid. The tiny hairs are receptors that sense our head movements and then send messages to our brain so we know we are moving. With this understanding of how our balance system works you will better understand some disorders that result in vertigo or dizziness. Three very common problems that affect our balance are benign positional vertigo, labyrinthitis and Menieres disease.
Meniere’s disease causes severe vertigo that can last for hours or days in length. More people than we realize suffer due to the fact that many people may not seek medical help for the condition. The mechanism that causes the vertigo in this disease is an increase build up of fluid in the semicircular canals. Along with the bad vertigo people who have this disease will often have ringing in their ears, pain or pressure in their ears, sickness or vomiting. Usually people try to manage the condition with medication as there is no cure for it at present.
Labyrinthitis is inflammation of a part of the semicircular canals called the labyrinth. The canals may become infected by a virus. Inflammation affects the movement of the fluid and therefore the signals of balance. Once again vertigo will be a symptoms along with headache and nausea and generally feeling off balance. The vertigo is generally short in duration from seconds to minutes. Viruses do not respond to anitbiotics so you just have to let this self resolve.
The number one cause of vertigo is called benign positional vertigo or bppv. This is caused by debris in the semicircular canals that affect the hair receptors and result in misinformation being sent to the brain about our movement. This disorder is triggered by specific head movements such as rolling over in bed, looking up or bending forwards. The vertigo feelings are short in duration and only last for seconds. Luckily there are some safe solutions to this problem without the use of drugs or surgery.
The ability to balance is one of the most important skills we have. It is often only appreciated once we have lost it. Above are three of the most common reasons for suffering symptoms of vertigo. For the condition bppv or benign positional vertigo there is help available.