Vertigo is a sense of rotation, rocking, or the world spinning, experienced even when someone is perfectly still. It’s a sense of feeling off balance, or dizziness.
- Vertigo is sometimes considered as fear of height, must fear of height is called as acrophobia
- It is common with all ages, but it can be caused in people aged 65 years or old.
- Vertigo is costly caused by any inner ear problem, but certain causes such as dehydration or decrease in blood pressure can make any person dizzy.
Symptoms for vertigo may include:
- Pulled to one direction
Other symptoms may also include:
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
Diagnosis of vertigo:
- Diagnosis of vertigo may start with the detailing of the recent illness with the doctor.
- The doctor may undergo a physical examination , which may ask the patient how the dizziness makes them feel. Which can distinguish between different dizziness
- MRI or Ct scans may be done of the brain and inner ear to exclude any possibilities of stroke
- Nystagmus test: Vertigo may provoke different eye movement, certain test is done to diagnose that which include:
- Electronystagmography (ENG) can electronically record the nystagmus. The patient wears a headset that places electrodes around the eyes. The device measures eye movements.
- Videonystagmography (VNG) is a newer technology can provide a video recording of the nystagmus.
- Head impulse test- The patient is asked to fix the gaze toward the nose. If the patient can fix the gaze, then the test is negative, otherwise vertigo can be suspected.
- Romberg’s test- If the person becomes unsteady when the close their eyes, who remains steady with eyes open may be suspected with vertigo.
- Unterberger’s test- The patients are asked to march for 30 seconds, with their eyes closed. If they rotate sideways, then vertigo may be suspected.
Causes of vertigo:
- BPPV- It means benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. BPPV occurs when tiny calcium particles (canaliths) clump up in canals of the inner ear. The inner ear sends signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity. It helps to keep our balance.
- BPPV can occur for no known reason and may be associated with age.
- Meniere's disease. This is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.
- Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. This is an inner ear problem usually related to infection (usually viral). The infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around nerves that are important for helping the body sense balance
Other rare caused may include:
Risk factors of vertigo:
Certain risk factors may include:
- Any head injury can increase the risk
- Different medications such as ant seizures medications, blood pressure medications or even aspirin can increase the risk.
- Anything that increase the risk of stroke, increases the risk of vertigo
- Older age increases the risk of vertigo, and women have higher risk than men. Mostly older women.
Treatment of vertigo:
- Vertigo can be resolved without ant treatment, but some vertigo with any bacterial infection may need medication
- Drugs can relieve symptoms of some kinds of vertigo, for example, vestibular suppressants or anti-emetics to reduce motion sickness and nausea.
- Patients with acute vestibular disorder linked to a middle ear infection may be prescribed steroids (such as prednisone), antiviral drugs (such as acyclovir) or antibiotics (such as amoxicillin)
- If the vertigo is caused by BPPV, a technique known as the Epley maneuver is used. This is also known as canalith repositioning. Here, the particles are moved from the inner part to a open area known as vestibular, where it can be easily absorbed.
- Prescription drugs, such as diazepam or lorazepam can be used to relieve the dizziness experienced with Ménière's disease
Certain medications, correct treatment and a quality life style with certain restriction can control vertigo to much extent. It’s not a life-threatning disease and in much cases doesn’t have any further complications.