Vertigo and Dizziness Facts
· Vertigo is not another term for dizziness, but rather a type of dizziness characterized by a false sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning. The feeling is usually slight and barely noticeable, but can also be so severe that you find it very hard to keep your balance and carry out your everyday activities.
· The other type of dizziness is known as lightheadedness, and is the feeling that you might faint.
· Feelings of dizziness stem from the vestibular system, which comprise the brain and the parts of the inner ear responsible for sensing motion and position, along with the sensory information from the skin, eyes, and muscle tension.
· People with vertigo or that have multiple episodes of vertigo are advised not to drive or partake in other activities that would endanger themselves or others.
Causes of Vertigo and Dizziness
You are likely to get Vertigo for a short time if you spin around fast. Basically, due to the constantly changing position of the head, the brain gets bombarded with nerve messages from the semicircular canals in your inner ears. The brain can’t cope with these constantly changing nerve messages.
Labyrinthis is an infection of the inner ear, or an inflammation of the balance nerve found in the highly delicate labyrinth. When your labyrinth is inflamed, the information it sends to your brain will be totally different from the information sent from the unaffected ear. These two conflicting signals give rise to a number of rotatory dizziness for close to two or three weeks.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV):
BPPV normally occurs following an abrupt change in position of the head. If you have BPPV you may develop vertigo that lasts for a few seconds or minutes. Each episode of vertigo occurs when you move your head in a certain way, and involves short, intense, recurrent attacks.
This is a rare condition that affects the inner ear. It is characterized by vertigo lasting for more than an hour, but less than a day, feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear, ringing or buzzing sound in the ear, and some hearing loss.
Vestibular neuronitis (or vestibular neuritis):
This is an inner ear infection involving inflammation of the vestibular nerve which runs into the inner ear and sends messages to the brain that help control balance. It occurs some time after you have suffered from a viral infection.
Other causes of Vertigo and Dizziness include migraine headaches, head injury, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, and brain tumor in the cerebellum, and may be due to side effects of some medications like vestibular sedatives.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Vertigo and Dizziness
Diagnosis begins with comprehensive neurological testing that is used to determine your cerebellum function. During the test, you’ll be required to stand with your feet together, your eyes closed, and then you sway back and forth.
There are also some other tests that can be used such as walking heel to toe, touching all of your fingers to your thumb as fast as possible, touching the index finger to the nose with the eyes closed, and moving your fingers rapidly as if playing a piano.
Treatment of Vertigo and Dizziness include non-pharmacological techniques such as Unilateral (One-sided) Adjustments, a warm water caloric administered in the ear, eye exercises, and heat therapy. All these approaches are employed and thoroughly utilized to help restore the normal function of the cerebellum.
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