Have you ever felt that your surroundings were spinning, even if you weren't moving at all? If you did, you may be suffering from vertigo, a form of dizziness that gives you the illusion of movement.1
Vertigo typically signifies that you may have an underlying condition in one of two important body parts — either your inner ear or your central nervous system. Your inner ear is a collection of organs responsible for transforming vibrations in the air into signals that travel directly to your brain, which are then processed as sound.2 It also contains organs that coordinate with your brain on how to balance your body as you move.
Your central nervous system, on the other hand, is responsible for controlling your thoughts, muscle movement and the transportation of sensory stimulants into your brain.3
2 Types of Vertigo You Should Know About
If the cause of your vertigo is isolated in your inner ear, this condition is known as peripheral vertigo. Below are a few ailments that are known to cause this problem:
- Meniere's disease: Characterized by an abnormal production of fluid inside your inner ear, causing pressure to build up and result in vertigo. Your hearing may be affected as well.4
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): One of the most common forms of peripheral vertigo, BPPV occurs when crystal deposits in your inner ear become dislodged and end up in the canals. As you move, the crystals disrupt the flow of the fluids, confusing your balance organs that result in dizziness.5
- Labyrinthitis: This condition is mainly defined by the inflammation in your inner ear's labyrinth. Since the labyrinth contains both the balance and hearing organs, not only do you get vertigo, but hearing problems as well.
When your central nervous system is the cause, it is known as central vertigo. Diseases that have been linked with this condition include:
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): MS is a condition that causes inflammation in your myelin, the protective layer of your nerve cells, causing your body to experience problems in muscle coordination and maintaining equilibrium, which may lead to vertigo.6
- Migraines: Migraines are headaches more painful than your usual headache. The pain can cause vertigo, accompanied with vomiting and nausea.7
- Acoustic neuritis: Acoustic neuritis occurs when a nonmalignant tumor grows in the cranial nerve of your inner ear. As the tumor gets bigger, it pushes against adjacent nerves, causing vertigo, hearing loss, headaches and even facial numbness.8
Treatment for Vertigo
Due to the different underlying causes of vertigo, the treatment options can vary. In BPPV for example, special exercises are performed with the help of a physical therapist to help move the crystals into a location that won't affect your balance. As you become more confident in doing the exercises yourself, you can perform them in the comfort of your own home.9
However, in some cases, the underlying condition has no cure, like in multiple sclerosis.10 In this case, you will have to treat your symptoms through a combination of therapies to help reduce the inflammation, along with a healthy diet to nourish your body.
Learn All You Need to Know About Vertigo
In this guide, you'll learn all the necessary information regarding vertigo, such as its symptoms, causes, treatment and prevention. Take note however, that this guide won't help you treat the underlying cause of vertigo by itself. If you begin to experience any of the symptoms listed in the following pages, it's best to consult a doctor right away.