Vertigo is a feeling that everything around you is spinning, making you feel dizzy. Vertigo isn’t a disease. Instead, it’s a sign of various conditions.
While both vertigo and dizziness are considered balance issues, the two symptoms are different. Dizziness is the feeling of being off-balance. Vertigo is a feeling that your environment is spinning or that you’re moving. It’s not just feeling off-kilter. Vertigo worsens when you move your head.
Different Types of Vertigo
There are two major types of vertigo:
Peripheral vertigo: This occurs when there’s an inner ear issue.
Central vertigo: This occurs when there’s a brain issue resulting from an infection, a brain tumor, a stroke, or a traumatic brain injury.
Signs and Symptoms of Vertigo
Symptoms of vertigo differ from person to person. Your symptoms may be mild or severe, contingent on what’s causing the problem.
Some common signs of peripheral vertigo include:
- Hearing loss in one ear
- Problems focusing the eyes
- Feeling like you’re spinning
- Balance problems
- Vomiting or nausea
- Ringing in the ears
Some common signs of central vertigo include:
- Facial paralysis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Double vision
- Eye movement difficulties
Causes and Risk Factors of Vertigo
Vertigo isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom of other conditions. Discovering what’s causing your symptoms is the first course of action your physician will take in evaluating how to cure your vertigo. Detecting certain medical conditions and risk factors may be helpful.
A range of conditions could cause vertigo. Some of the usual conditions are Ménière’s disease, labyrinthitis, and BPPV. Less typical reasons are head injuries, migraines, stroke, and medication.
The Seriousness of Vertigo
Vertigo can be frightening, but the disorder itself isn’t deemed serious. However, vertigo may be connected to other possibly severe health problems. That’s why you should let your doctor know if you are having frequent or long vertigo episodes.
Typically, vertigo episodes last a few seconds to a few minutes. In severe cases, a vertigo episode can last for hours, days, weeks, or months.
Diagnosing vertigo isn’t always easy. It can be a complex process since people with dizziness usually have a problem describing their exact symptoms.
First, your doctor will try to find out if you have actual vertigo by asking about your specific symptoms. Next, the emphasis will be on identifying a cause. Your doctor may ask about your medical history, examine you, and perform different tests. At The Hartman Center, we perform computerized posturography, and advanced diagnostics such as videonystagmography (VNG) and Vestibular Head-Impulse Testing to accurately diagnose and localize dysfunction in the brain and nervous system to remediate dizziness and vertigo symptom
Every patient might need different testing based on the alleged reasons for vertigo.
When to Call a Doctor
You should seek a medical professional who specializes in vertigo treatment if you have symptoms that come back frequently for more than seven days.
It’s also an excellent idea to see your physician if you experience dizziness that affects your everyday activities.