Vertigo is a type of dizziness that can cause a person to feel like their surroundings are spinning or moving. It is caused by a disruption in the signals that the brain receives from the eyes and the inner ear, which helps it know where the body is in space. Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and headaches. There are three main types of vertigo, each with its own symptoms and treatment options.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, is the most common type of vertigo and tends to affect older adults. It is usually caused by a small buildup of calcium particles in the inner ear, which can cause the inner ear to become sensitive to changes in the body’s position. Symptoms include a sudden sensation of spinning or dizziness when the head is moved quickly. BPPV can be treated with repositioning or Epley maneuvers, which are designed to move the calcium particles out of the way. In some cases, medications or physical therapy can also be used to treat BPPV.
Vestibular neuronitis is a type of vertigo that is caused by a virus that attacks the vestibular nerve. This nerve is responsible for sending signals from the inner ear to the brain, which helps it know where the body is in space. Symptoms of vestibular neuronitis include sudden and severe dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. Most cases of vestibular neuronitis can be treated with medications that reduce the symptoms and help the body fight the virus. In some cases, physical therapy can also be used to help reduce symptoms.
Ménière’s disease is a condition that affects the inner ear and can cause vertigo. It is caused by a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, which can cause the inner ear to become sensitive to changes in pressure. Symptoms of Ménière’s disease include sudden bouts of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. Treatment for Ménière’s disease can include medications, lifestyle modifications, and, in some cases, surgery.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience any of the symptoms of vertigo, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. A doctor can help determine the cause and recommend the best treatment for your condition. If vertigo is caused by an inner ear disorder, such as BPPV or Ménière’s disease, it is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent the condition from worsening. Your doctor may also recommend ways to reduce your risk of developing vertigo, such as avoiding certain activities that can trigger dizziness.
Living With Vertigo
Although vertigo can be a frustrating and disorienting condition, there are ways to manage the symptoms and reduce the risk of developing it. If you have vertigo, it is important to avoid activities that can trigger dizziness, such as bending over or turning your head quickly. To help reduce the symptoms of vertigo, your doctor may recommend medications, physical therapy, and lifestyle modifications. It is also important to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated to help reduce the symptoms of vertigo.
Vertigo is a type of dizziness that can be caused by a variety of conditions. The three main types of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuronitis, and Ménière’s disease. Each type of vertigo has its own symptoms and treatment options, so it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis. With the right treatment, it is possible to manage vertigo and reduce the risk of developing it.