Vertigo is an unpleasant feeling that is twofold. With vertigo, it feels as if the room is spinning, or it can feel as if you are moving. Vertigo is not the same as dizziness. When you are dizzy, it feels more like you are light headed and may pass out. Dizziness is a common feeling when you are sick or you have not eaten in several hours.
Causes and Concerns
There are two types of vertigo to consider: subjective vertigo and objective vertigo. With subjective vertigo, you feel like you are actually moving. In some cases, you may actually be swaying slightly. If you have objective vertigo, you feel like your surroundings are moving. Causes of vertigo include:
- A migraine
- Inner ear infection (viral or bacterial)
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) –This is caused by a sudden movement of your head (if you were to turn your head quickly to one side to look at something).
- Meniere's disease – This condition causes objective vertigo, hearing loss, pressure in the ear, and tinnitus. Meniere’s disease can come and go, and you may experience symptoms for several weeks or months.
- Acoustic neuroma –This is a tumor in the nerve tissue that causes vertigo. In addition, you will experience tinnitus (ring in the ears) and hearing loss with acoustic neuroma. Once the tumor is removed, the vertigo will subside.
- Neck injuries and head trauma – Once the neck or head injury has healed, the vertigo will disappear.
- Cerebellar hemorrhage – This is by far the most serious condition that can cause vertigo. A cerebral hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition, and these occur during an accident (car accident, skiing accident, falls where you land on your head, or hitting your head.)
- Superior semi-circular canal dehiscence syndrome - This is caused by a defect in the wall of one of the balance canals in the inner ear called the superior semi-circular canal. It may mimic other causes of vertigo but usually has an associated conductive hearing loss.
Symptoms and Signs
- There are many symptoms and signs that can accompany vertigo. If you or someone you love has any of these, you should consider calling for an appointment with one of our competent ear specialists. Symptoms and signs that are concerning include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nasal congestion and drainage
- Ringing in the ears
- Hearing Loss
- Frequent falls
Solutions and Options
- Vertigo that is caused by cerebellar hemorrhage is a medical emergency, so you should seek healthcare immediately. If the vertigo is caused by an infection, then the doctor can give you oral or IV antibiotics. For other causes of vertigo, there are a variety of solutions and options to consider. The treatment depends on the cause.
With the exception of the cerebellar hemorrhage, most cases of vertigo are easily treated. If you or someone you love is experiencing vertigo, call today and make an appointment with one of our ear specialists. Let us help you find a solution to your symptoms.