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What is Vertigo?

Dizziness is a term which is used to describe everything from fainting to feeling weak or unsteady. If dizziness creates an impression of things around us or our surrounding moving or spinning, it is called Vertigo.

What causes Vertigo?

Inner ear problem often causes Vertigo. Some of the most common causes of Vertigo include:

BPPV: The initials stand for benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo. It basically occurs when small calcium particles clump up in the canals of the inner ear. The inner ear sends signal to the brain about the head and body movement relative to gravity. It can occur for no known reason and can also be associated with age.

Vestibular neuritis: It is an inner ear disorder which occurs due to infection. The infection further leads to inflammation in the inner ear around the nerves which are vital for keeping the body balance.

Meniere’s disease: It is an inner ear disorder which is caused due to the build-up of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It causes sensations like ringing in the ears, along with episodes of Vertigo.

Other problems Vertigo may be associated with are:

  • Head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Stroke or tumour
  • Medications
  • Migraine
What are the signs and symptoms of Vertigo?

Change in the position of our head often triggers Vertigo. The symptoms of Vertigo are:

  • Unbalanced
  • Pulled to one direction
  • Spinning
  • Tilting
  • Jerky eye movements
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ear or loss of hearing
Who should be consulted for Vertigo?

One should consult an ENT Surgeon or a General Physician for Vertigo.

Which factors increase the risk of Vertigo?

Factors that increase the risk of Vertigo are:

  • Age: People older than 60 years often have medical conditions which lead to Vertigo or are likely to take certain medications which can cause Vertigo.
  • Past episode of Vertigo: If a person has experienced an episode of Vertigo before, then the person is more vulnerable to get it again in the future.
What are the complications involved with Vertigo?

Vertigo increases the risk of falling and getting injured. Episodes of Vertigo while driving or operating heavy machinery can increase the chance of an accident.

Which lifestyle and home preventive measures can help a person with Vertigo?
  • Avoid moving suddenly
  • Stand up slowly
  • Sit or lie down when dizzy
  • If one experiences frequent episodes of Vertigo, driving and operating machinery should be avoided
  • Use of alcohol, caffeine and tobacco should be avoided.
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