Vertigo – Causes and Symptoms of Vertigo

The term Vertigo has been derived from a Latin word ‘vertō’, meaning a whirling movement or a spin. Vertigo is a type of dizziness often associated with nausea and vomiting. This is a symptoms related to a dysfunction of the vestibular system present in the inner ear. The vestibular system is the sensory system that deals with the balance of a person. People with signs of such dizziness often have difficulty in standing or walking.

Causes of Vertigo
In common words, vertigo is a feeling of motion even when the person is stationary. There are various causes associated with vertigo. These are –

  • Vertigo is often felt worse by movements or during change in position
  • Infection in the inner ear (called labrynthitis) may also cause vertigo
  • Occurrence of Meniere’s disease causing fluid fluctuations in the inner ear
  • Dehydration followed by vomiting and diarrhoea
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol
  • Epilepsy or exposure (causing heat stroke, hypothermia)
  • Insulin (used during diabetic emergency)
  • Oxygen deficiency or shortness of breath
  • Accumulation of toxins due to failure of kidney
  • Trauma, shock or injury to the head
  • Infection in the brain or nerves
  • Psychosis
  • Stroke

Symptoms of Vertigo

  • The most common form of vertigo is the Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). It is characterized by –
    • sensation of motion induced by sudden movements of the head
    • sensation of motion increases with moving your head in a certain direction
  • Dizziness may also be caused due to labyrinthitis. This condition is characterized by –
    • sudden onset of dizziness
    • loss in hearing
    • viral or bacterial infection
  • Meniere’s disease shows a triad of symptoms –
    • episodes of vertigo
    • hearing loss fluctuations
    • ringing sensation in the ears
  • Acoustic neuroma –
    This shows a typical symptom of vertigo associated with one-sided ringing sensation in the ear along with hearing loss.
  • Cerebellar hemorrhage –
    Sometimes the blood flow decreases to the base of brain. This causes vertigo. The bleeding into the back of the brain can also lead to –

    • vertigo
    • headache
    • inability to look towards the side of the bleeding
    • difficulty in walking or impaired walking
  • Multiple sclerosis –
    Dizziness is often a representing symptom of multiple sclerosis.
  • Sudden shock or injury to the head or neck may also cause vertigo. This symptoms subsides by its own.
  • Migraine –
    The severe form of headache, the migraine is associated with vertigo. Vertigo symptoms are usually followed by the onset of the headaches.

Other Symptoms associated with Vertigo

  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Difficulty in speaking
  • Lowered level of consciousness
  • Loss of hearing
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Unsteadiness

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