Dizziness and Vertigo
Dizziness and vertigo symptoms vary from mere nuisance to incapacitating tremors and should not be left untreated. Severe vertigo can have a significant impact in your day to day life and cause nausea, headaches, abnormal eye movements, and loss of balance. While it is a condition that is most common in adults, it can also occur in younger people.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo is typically described as a spinning feeling, tilting and losing your balance, or being pulled in a direction. When your head changes position too fast or spontaneously, the symptoms manifest. This is caused by the vestibular system, sending contradictory messages to the brain, which maintains our sense of balance.
Causes of Dizziness and Vertigo
Most of the time, the causes are a result of an inner ear problem. Common ear problems related with vertigo include:
Benign positional vertigo – A condition caused by microscopic crystals of the inner ear finding their way into the balance canals. It lasts less than a minute when the head is placed in certain positions.
Vestibular migraine – A condition of the brain that affects the general function of balance and eye movement control that leads to vertigo, loss of balance, headaches, pulsatile sound, blurry vision, sometimes ear pressure, ear pain, the rocking sensation of being in a boat.
Labyrinthitis – Caused by a virus that causes extreme dizziness and balance problems with hearing loss lasting several weeks. It is a form of inner ear infection.
Vestibular neuronitis – A viral infection of the vestibular nerve inside the inner ear with no hearing loss. The vertigo usually lasts 2-3 weeks.
Ménière’s disease – A condition of fluid imbalance in the inner ear that leads vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and other concerns. Migraine is the common primary cause found in most patients that is related to the condition.
Treatment depends on the exact cause of the vertigo. Surgery is rarely used to treat patients with incapacitating vertigo, there are better options for the same effectivity.
Here are some of the most common therapies:
If the vertigo is due to labyrinthitis, steroids and intratympanic injections are applied behind the ear drum to reduce the hearing loss. Medications are used to relieve the motion sickness and nausea associated with vertigo.
Canalith repositioning (Epley) maneuver are a specific set of head and body movements implemented to force the abnormally displaced calcium deposits in the inner ear canals and in the inner ear chamber so they can be reabsorbed by the body.
Migraine preventative medications are used to treat vestibular migraine and Meniere’s disease. Injections in the ear are often needed to regulate the symptoms of Meniere’s disease and vestibular migraine.
Balance rehabilitation is a specific exercise-based program designed to teach patients how to compensate for their defective vestibular system in order to reduce gaze unsteadiness, imbalance, and falling.
Anyone experiencing vertigo accompanied by a sudden change in speech or vision should seek their doctor. This could indicate a more serious problem in the future, like a stroke or transient ischemic attack.
Dr. Kanwar Kelley is located at Orinda California and if you are suffering from Dizziness and Vertigo, don’t hesitate to make an appointment (925) 254-6710. He is an experienced physician in many illnesses who can guide your health in the right direction.
Monday – Friday
09:00 – 04:00
Telephone support and scheduling. Clinic times vary.