Being dizzy is something that occurs to everyone at some point in life, in fact with some folks it happens way too much. Whether it is after a sick spell or maybe just due to high blood pressure being lightheaded and feeling like you are going to fall can have serious consequences. But with some people the dizzy spell is more of a spinning sensation like you are on an amusement ride that isn’t particularly fun and falling is a definite possibility. Then you may have the disease known as vertigo.
Surprisingly enough there are still some folks that aren’t quite sure what vertigo is. They remember a movie long ago and think that it may be about a fear of heights, it isn’t. Vertigo is an inner ear disorder which causes a sensation of spinning. The spinning can be so intense that it usually brings on nausea and vomiting.
What causes vertigo?
The majority of cases of vertigo are caused by BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, a vestibular disorder. Particles in the inner ear are loosened causing incorrect signals to the brain about the state of your balance. Vertigo is sometimes brought on by fever, infections, illness or trauma to the head. It is also more common in older folks. Luckily there are things that can be done to treat this illness.
One corrective measure is with physical therapy. A technique called the canalith repositioning procedure is where the doctor or therapist moves the patient’s head dislodging the loose particles that are in the inner ear. This stops the erroneous balance signals to the brain.
There are other vestibular disorders that are similar to vertigo. One in particular has been getting more and more attention in the last few years and that is Meniere’s disease. One of the main symptoms of Meniere’s disease is vertigo which causes the person who has it to spin uncontrollably for varying lengths of time. Nausea and sweating also usually occur. Another similar aspect of meniere’s compared to vertigo is that the attacks come without any notice, which can be very dangerous.
But there are differences between Meniere’s and vertigo the biggest one being that vertigo can be cured with therapy whereas there is no cure for Meniere’s disease. Tinnitus, which is a ringing sound in the ear and hearing loss are also symptoms of meniere’s. There is a great deal of research going on to find a cure for this disorder. Right now the best defense against it is diet and avoiding alcohol and nicotine.