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How Long Does Vertigo Last?

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Story at-a-glance -

  • The duration of your vertigo depends on the underlying disorder that caused it
  • The presence of auditory symptoms in some disorders indicate that it may cause hearing problems, such as hearing loss or tinnitus, a condition that produces a constant ringing sound

The duration of your vertigo depends on the underlying disorder that caused it. In cases of multiple sclerosis for example, vertigo can last for months, depending on how the disease affects your nervous system. In the next section, you'll be able to compare how the vertigo induced by each disorder can vary.

Disorders That Cause Vertigo and Their Severity

The table below, sourced from the American Family Physician website, provides a thorough overview on how long vertigo lasts depending on the disorder that causes it.1 As you can see, there are many disorders that can cause vertigo, and they come in two types — peripheral and central.

Peripheral vertigo refers to a group of disorders that affect your inner ear, which houses organs responsible for hearing and balance. Conversely, central vertigo refers to disorders that affect your nervous system. Both produce very similar symptoms, but they differ in treatment.2

Disorder Duration of Episodes Auditory Symptoms Prevalence Peripheral or Central Vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Seconds

No

Common

Peripheral

Perilymphatic fistula (head trauma, barotrauma)

Seconds

Yes

Uncommon

Peripheral

Vascular ischemia: transient ischemic attack

Seconds to hours

Usually not

Uncommon

Can be either of the two depending on the site of infection

Meniere's disease

Hours

Yes

Common

Peripheral

Syphilis

Hours

Yes

Uncommon

Peripheral

Vertiginous migraine

Hours

No

Common

Central

Labyrinthine concussion

Days

Yes

Uncommon

Peripheral

Labryinthitis

Days

Yes

Common

Peripheral

Vascular ischemia: stroke

Days

Usually not

Uncommon

Can be either of the two depending on the site of infection

Vestibular neuritis

Days

No

Common

Peripheral

Anxiety disorder

Variable

Usually not

Common

Unspecified

Acoustic neuroma

Months

Yes

Uncommon

Peripheral

Cerebellar degeneration

Months

No

Uncommon

Central

Cerebellar tumor

Months

No

Uncommon

Central

Multiple sclerosis

Months

No

Uncommon

Central

Vestibular ototoxicity

Months

Yes

Uncommon

Peripheral

The presence of auditory symptoms in some disorders indicates the possibility of hearing problems, such as hearing loss or tinnitus, a condition that produces a constant ringing sound. The sound can reduce your quality of life as it can disrupt your sleep or prevent you from performing at full capacity during work or at school.3

MORE ABOUT VERTIGO

Vertigo: Introduction

What is Vertigo?

How Do You Get Vertigo?

Vertigo Duration

Vertigo Causes

Vertigo Types

Vertigo Symptoms

Vertigo Treatment

Vertigo Prevention

Vertigo Diet

Vertigo FAQ

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How Do You Get Vertigo?

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Vertigo Causes

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