Vertigo is a symptom, not a disease. The term
vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as
a result of a disturbance in balance (equilibrium). It also may be used
to describe feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, and
Vertigo and dizziness are not the same, even though they are often used
interchangeably. While all vertigo is dizziness, not all dizziness is
vertigo. It is most common in elderly people, but can affect both sexes
at any age.
Vertigo occurs when there is a mismatch or difference in the
information sent to the brain from the three sensory organs . Among the
three sensory systems i.e the vestibular system (the inner ear
structures), the visual system (the eyes), and the somatosensory system
(which conveys information from the skin, joint, and muscle receptors),
the former is most sensitive and often involved with vertigo.
Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of
vertigo and is characterized by the sensation of motion initiated by
sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction. This
type of vertigo is rarely serious and can be treated.
Vertigo may also be caused by inflammation within the inner ear
(labyrinthitis), which is characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo
and may be associated with hearing loss. The most common cause of
labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection.
Meniere's disease is composed of a triad of symptoms: episodes of
vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. People have the abrupt
onset of severe vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, as well as periods
in which they are symptom-free.
Acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor that can cause vertigo. Symptoms
include vertigo with one-sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
Vertigo can be caused by decreased blood flow to the base of the brain.
Bleeding into the back of the brain (cerebellar hemorrhage) is
characterized by vertigo, headache, difficulty walking, and inability
to look toward the side of the bleed. The result is that the person's
eyes gaze away from the side with the problem. Walking is also
Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. The
onset is usually abrupt, and examination of the eyes may reveal the
inability of the eyes to move past the midline toward the nose.
Head trauma and neck injury may also result in vertigo, which usually
goes away on its own.
Migraine, a severe form of headache, may also cause vertigo. The
vertigo is usually followed by a headache. There is often a prior
history of similar episodes but no lasting problems.
The main symptom of vertigo is a sensation that the surroundings are
spinning or whirling when there is no motion. The sensation may be mild
and may happens due to a certain head movement and lasts only for a few
seconds. Sometimes the sensation may be severe enough to cause
sweating, nausea and vomiting.
Other symptoms include-
Ringing in the ears
Weakness in an arm or leg
Double vision or loss of vision
Abnormal eye movements and fainting
Low blood pressure
Chest pain, or rapid or slow heart rate
To rule out the serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease,
stroke, hemorrhage or tumor, it is important to diagnosis the cause of
Important considerations include the following:
What triggers the vertigo?
What other symptoms occur?
How long does the dizziness last?
What improves or worsens symptoms?
Physical examination includes measuring blood pressure and heart rate.
Neurological examination includes testing facial and vestibular nerves
and muscles, strength, coordination, balance, and walking (gait).
Blood test- it include complete blood count, thyroid profile, kidney
function test, blood sugar.
Imaging tests may be used to detect brain abnormalities (e.g., stroke,
tumor). Computed tomography (CT scan) produces x-ray images of the
brain and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) uses a magnetic field
to produce detailed images of brain tissue and arteries in the neck and
Tests of vestibular system (balance) function include
electronystagmography (ENG), rotation tests, caloric reflex test, and
computerized dynamic posturography (CDP).
Tests of auditory system (hearing) function include pure-tone
audiometry, speech audiometry, acoustic-reflex, electrocochleography
(ECoG), otoacoustic emissions (OAE), and auditory brainstem response
test (ABR; also known as BER, BSER, or BAER).
Treatment for vertigo depends on identifying and eliminating the
underlying cause. If a particular medication is responsible for the
condition, lowering the dosage or discontinuing the drug may eliminate
People whose balance is affected by vertigo should take precautions to
prevent injuries from falls.
Those with risk factors for stroke should control their high blood
pressure and high cholesterol and stop smoking.
Patient's with Meniere's disease should limit salt in their diet.
Role of homoeopathy
Homoeopathy shows an effective result in treating different types of
vertigo. It will help in reducing the intensity and frequency of vertigo
along with which it will also help in controlling those symptoms arising
before the attack. For example - anxiety, nervousness etc. It improves
the general immunity and vitality of the patient apart from targeting
the cause of the vertigo.
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