What is vertigo?

December 15, 2020

Vertigo is a condition in which you feel off-balance and dizzy, as if you or your surroundings are moving, spinning, or swaying. It can lead to nausea and disability. Vertigo is most common in elderly people, but it can affect both sexes at any age. It may be a temporary or permanent condition. If vertigo arises from a disorder of the ear and other structures around it, it is called peripheral vertigo. If the sensation arises from a disorder in the brain and other structures around it, it is called central vertigo.

Vertigo is the primary symptom of any balance disorder. If you close your eyes during an episode of vertigo, you’ll feel as if you’re spinning or falling. Severe vertigo can cause vomiting and stop you from walking. Some people complain of other symptoms during attacks of vertigo, like memory problems or difficulty reading. Most people find the struggle against vertigo physically exhausting. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to hours.

An array of issues can cause vertigo. Some of the most common are conditions known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Ménière’s disease, and labyrinthitis. Less common causes might include migraines, medication, head injuries, stroke, and others. Many cases of vertigo, clear up on their own, but it usually takes time. A doctor might be able to suggest treatments, ranging from antibiotics and other medications to surgery. They will also help you with some exercises that help to build tolerance to vertigo, making episodes less intense and shorter.

You should see a doctor if you have vertigo symptoms that come back periodically for more than one week. It’s also a good idea to see your healthcare provider if you have any type of dizziness that interferes with your daily activities. Symptoms of vertigo are rarely caused by a serious, life-threatening condition. But, you should visit your doctor immediately or seek emergency medical care if you experience dizziness along with severe headache, hearing loss, double vision or loss of vision, fever, loss of consciousness, etc. 

Since vertigo is a symptom of other conditions, it is very important to seek medical help in case you experience it. A medical expert will be able to diagnose the cause of your vertigo and suggest remedies for the same.

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