We have all experienced dizziness at some point of time or the other, but it’s quite easy to confuse dizziness with vertigo. Vertigo can be described as a type of dizziness that could cause a sensation that either you are spinning, or that your head is. At times, you may also feel that while you are absolutely still, your surroundings unsteady or are moving around, because of which you may fall. This means that you could experience the illusion of movement, even when there is no actual movement present. Vertigo may also cause you to experience brief bouts of giddiness that can be mild, moderate or even intense. Most people confuse vertigo with dizziness, but the two conditions are quite different from each other. Dizziness is more like a sensation in which you may feel that you are about to faint. Dizziness involves a feeling of light headedness or loss of equilibrium, but if you also experience the spinning sensation, then it probably is vertigo that you’re faced with. Vertigo is like a false illusion of movement, which could lead to dizziness. Hence, dizziness is only of the symptoms of vertigo. There can be several different causes of dizziness in a person and vertigo is one of the most common ones. The causes of vertigo however, are a lot more limited in comparison to dizziness.

There are two types of vertigo, subjective vertigo and objective vertigo, and the effect that each type can have on you is different. In case you feel that you are moving, it is subjective vertigo that you are suffering from. However, in case you feel that your surroundings are moving, then you are experiencing objective vertigo.

While vertigo can affect men and women of all ages, it is more common in those who are over the age of 60. Fortunately, vertigo is not a major cause for concern, even though it may seem otherwise. One of the biggest problems that may arise because of vertigo is the risk of falling. The main symptom of vertigo could be quite uncomfortable, which is why most people choose to undergo medical treatment for it.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Vertigo is primarily characterized by a pseudo sense of movement or motion, because of which you may feel that you are spinning or that the environment around you is turning around. Hence, the main symptom of vertigo is a sensation of disorientation. In addition to this, there are a few other symptoms that may be experienced. During a vertigo attack, some of the additional symptoms that you may notice include:

  • Abnormal movement in the eye
  • Blurred vision and other vision problems
  • Difficulties in speaking normally
  • Hearing loss and ringing sensation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Perspiration or sweating
  • Reduction in the levels of consciousness or complete loss of consciousness
  • Walking problems
  • Weakness

Studies show that the symptoms of vertigo are fairly indicative of the possible causes. The duration of the symptoms may vary from person to person or even from one bout of vertigo to the other. At times, you could experience the symptoms of vertigo for a few seconds or minutes, but at others times, these symptoms could go on for hours. In fact, in some people the signs of vertigo are constant, but in others, they are episodic – they come and go. In case the symptoms of vertigo occur too frequently, it is important to seek medical attention, without any delay.

Some of the symptoms of vertigo are more severe as compared to others. Hence, it is absolutely essential to consult a doctor, in case the spinning sensation is present alongside any of these symptoms:

  • Lack of control over the arms and legs
  • Inability to walk properly
  • Difficulty in getting up, after tripping or falling
  • Excessive weakness
  • Severe headaches
  • Inappropriate behavior or actions

One of the main factors that have been known to trigger off the symptoms of vertigo includes sudden movement or changes in position. Factors like recent head injuries, trauma and whiplash can also cause the symptoms of vertigo to appear.

A series of tests may need to be performed, before the presence of vertigo can be confirmed. Some of the tests that are a part of the vertigo diagnostic procedure include a hearing exam, an electronystagmography, brain CT scans and vestibular system tests.

Causes of Vertigo

There have been many instances, where individuals experience the symptoms of vertigo for years, without realizing what the possible causes are. However, it is important for men and women to consult a doctor and identify the causes of vertigo, as soon as possible. There could be various factors that could lead to vertigo. Given below are some of the most common causes for vertigo:

  • Acoustic Neuroma: This can be described as a type of tumor, which occurs in the nerve tissues. It leads to vertigo, accompanied by symptoms like ringing in one of the ears or hearing loss
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This condition is marked by the false feeling of movement and occurs due to sudden head movements. At times, moving your head in a certain direction could also lead to this problem. Fortunately this cause for vertigo is not really serious and can be easily treated.
  • Blood Flow: Reduction in the flow of blood, which occurs because of many different reasons, could cause you to experience vertigo symptoms, which include dizziness, walking difficulties and headache. Health conditions such as diabetes and arteriosclerosis have been known to affect the flow of blood to the brain adversely, which in turn leads to vertigo.
  • Ear Inflammation: Bacterial or viral infections usually lead to inflammation in the inner ear, which is a very common cause of vertigo. In this case, loss of hearing is also seen with other vertigo symptoms.
  • Injuries: You may experience vertigo symptoms for the first time, after suffering from an injury to the neck or even head trauma. However, in such instances the symptoms of vertigo do not last for long.
  • Meniere’s Disease:This is a chronic ear condition, which triggers of hearing loss, in addition to vertigo.
  • Migraine: A condition that leads to severe headaches, migraines are also one of the main causes of vertigo
  • Multiple Sclerosis: A potentially debilitating disease, this condition affects your nerves as well as the communication between the brain and the rest of your body.
  • While some of these causes of vertigo are fairly mild, others could be a major cause for concern. Therefore, it is important to identify what the possible causes are and then address them accordingly.

Remedies for Vertigo

In most cases, vertigo is not a very serious problem. However, this does not mean that it should be left untreated, as it can also be debilitating. Fortunately, it is not difficult to treat vertigo, using prescription medications or through home treatment. The treatment for vertigo may vary, based on the severity of the problem as well as the factors that are causing it. Before adopting any form of treatment for vertigo, it is important for people to undergo a proper diagnosis. This is because certain causes of vertigo, like Meniere’s disease, multiple sclerosis, middle ear infections, and so on, may require additional medication. Some of the medicines that are prescribed by health care providers, in the treatment of vertigo include:

  • Promethazine hydrochloride
  • Diphenhydramine
  • Diazepam
  • Scopolamine transdermal patch
  • Meclizine hydrochloride

It is essential to consult a doctor for the appropriate dosage for any of these medications in order to avoid any adverse effects. The treatment of vertigo should include the use of physical maneuvers called the vestibular rehabilitation exercise.

You could also follow certain vertigo home-care techniques, which include home and natural remedies. Before you do so, make it a point to consult with your health care provider and seek his or her approval. With the increased research into natural medicine, there have been significant advances in natural vertigo treatment that can help alleviate the symptoms, without depressing the nervous system or producing drowsiness. Some of the home remedies that have been recommended by individuals who have overcome this condition include:

  • Flower essences
  • Herbs like ginger or ginkgo biloba
  • Gargling with a mouthwash, to drain the fluid from the ear
  • Drinking two or three glasses of cold water
  • Avoiding sudden head movements

Many holistic and alternate health care practitioners recommend practices such as homeopathy, reflexology, magnetic field therapy, hypnotherapy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and other similar healing techniques, in order to cure vertigo. However, there are no clinical studies that can help prove how effective these techniques are.

Apart from medication and home remedies, there are certain dietary and lifestyle changes that should also be incorporated, in case you are undergoing treatment or are trying to prevent the problem.

Diet for Vertigo

While your diet may have no direct bearing on the condition of vertigo, it can influence some of the conditions that may be responsible for vertigo in the first place. In many cases a few simple dietary changes can help alleviate some of the conditions that lead to vertigo. This in turn reduces the symptoms of vertigo. Given below are a few recommendations for a diet for vertigo:

  • Reduction in sweets and those foods that are high in sugar. Fluctuations in the levels of blood sugar can aggravate vertigo problems and therefore, it is better to consume complex carbs like brown rice, wholegrain bread, veggies and legumes, instead of simple ones.
  • Restricting the intake of salt and following a low-sodium diet. This is especially important for anyone who suffers from vertigo problems, because of hypertension
  • Limiting foods that are high in cholesterol like fried food, whole dairy products and red meat
  • Eliminating alcohol from the diet completely
  • Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables will help to increase circulation through the body.
  • Adding a multivitamin supplement, or any other specific supplement as recommended by a nutritionist, to reduce the possibilities of nutritional deficiencies

While these dietary changes reduce the possibilities of suffering from vertigo, they do not guarantee that you will not see the symptoms again.

Suggestion for Vertigo

While vertigo that occurs independently and is not caused by some underlying condition is not a major cause for concern, it could lead to serious injuries from falls and accidents. Therefore, people who have the tendency to experience vertigo symptoms should not be left alone for a long period of time. Avoid using any kind of heavy machinery or equipment that needs to be handled with great caution. Family and friends of the affected individual may also need to get involved and provide as much support as possible.

People suffering from vertigo need to consult a doctor before taking any medications or undergoing any form of therapy.

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