Vertigo is a false sensation of moving or spinning or of objects moving or spinning, usually accompanied by nausea or lack of loss of balance. Some people use the word dizziness to describe light headedness, but only true dizziness what doctors call vertigo - causes sensation of moving or spinning. Vertigo may last for only a few moments or may continue for hours or even days. A person with vertigo may feel better when lying still, however, vertigo may continue even when a person is not moving at all.
The body senses position and controls balance through organs of equilibrium located in the inner ear. These organs have nerve connections to the areas of the brain.
Vertigo can be caused by abnormalities in the ear, the nerves connecting the ear to the brain, or in the brain itself. Vertigo may also be related to vision problems or to sudden changes in the blood pressure. the most common cause of vertigo is motion sickness, which may develop in anyone whose inner ear is sensitive to particular motions such as swaying or sudden stops and starts.
Such people may feel specially dizzy in a moving car or a rocking boat.
Common Causes of Vertigo :
Environmental Condition :
Circulatory Problem :
Transient ischemic attack (temporary disturbances in brain function caused by insufficient blood supply to parts of the brain for brief periods) affecting the vertebral and basilar arteries.
Abnormalities in The Ear :
Calcium deposits in one of the semicircular canals in the inner ear (causing benign paroxysmal position vertigo).
Bacterial infection of the inner ear. Herpes Zoster. Lybyrinthitis (viral infection of the labyrinth in the ear). Inflamed vestibular nerve. Meniere's disease.
Neurologic Disorders :
Multiple sclerosis. Skill fracture with injury to the labyrinth, its nerve or both. Brain tumours. Tumours compressing the vestibular nerve.
Before dizziness is treated, a physician must determine its nature and then its cause. Is the problem uncoordinated gait, faintness, vertigo or something's else? Did it originate in the inner ear or somewhere else? Details about when the diziness began, how long it lasted, what triggered or relieved it and what other symptoms - headaches, deafness, noises in the ear, or weakness - were present help to pinpoint the nature of the problem.
Most cases of dizziness are not vertigo, nor are they a serious symptom. A person's eye movements may provide the doctor with important clues. Abnormal eye movements indicate a possible dysfunction of the inner ear or its nerve connections to the brain.
Nystagmus is a rapid flitting of the eyes, as though the person were watching a ping pong ball bounce quickly from right to left or up and down. Since the direction of these movements can help with the diagnosis, the doctor may try to stimulate nystagmus by suddenly moving the person's head or by putting a few drops of cold water into the ear canal.
Balance may be tested by asking the person to stand still and then to walk a straight line, first with the eyes open and then with the eyes closed. Some laboratory tests helps determine the cause of dizziness and vertigo.
Hearing tests often reveal ear disorders that affect both balance and hearing. Additional test may include X-rays and computed tomograpy (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (M4) scans of the head. These tests can show bone abnormalities or tumours pressing on nerves.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the vertigo. Drugs that relieve mild vertigo include meclizine, dimenhydrinate, perphenazine, and scopolamine. Scopolamine, which is particularly helpful in preventing motion sick ness, can be applied as a skin patch that works for several days. All of these drugs may cause drowsiness, especially in elderly people. Scopolamine in the patch form tends to produce the least drowsiness.
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