Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Have you ever felt dizzy where the surroundings feel like spinning? If ever, you have experienced vertigo. Vertigo is a symptom of various conditions, it can occur because there are problems with the inner ear, brain, or sensory nerve pathways. Check out the causes of vertigo, the symptoms of vertigo, and how to overcome vertigo in full below.

What is Vertigo?

As the previous explanation, vertigo is not a disease but a symptom. There are many conditions that can cause vertigo. Vertigo can last for several minutes to hours depending on the severity. In addition, vertigo can also be temporary or long term.

If vertigo is experienced quite heavily, it risks making the sufferer lose balance so the risk of falling is higher. People with internal ear disorders such as Meniere’s disease, sometimes also experience vertigo.

Symptoms of vertigo include a sensation of disorientation or movement that can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sweating, or abnormal eye movements. Other symptoms of vertigo may include hearing loss and ringing sensation in the ear, visual impairment, weakness, difficulty speaking, decreased level of consciousness, and difficulty walking.

Causes of Vertigo

Basically, the causes of vertigo are divided into two namely central and peripheral vertigo. Compared to central vertigo, peripheral vertigo is the most common. Here is a complete explanation of the causes of vertigo, including:

1. Peripheral Vertigo

Peripheral vertigo is the most commonly experienced by many people. The reason is because there are disorders of the inner ear that function to regulate body balance. In addition to feeling floating, inflammation that occurs in the inner ear or due to a viral infection, will cause pain and dizziness.

Some of the most common causes of vertigo, specifically causes of peripheral vertigo are:

  • BPPV. BPPV stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. BPPV occurs when small calcium particles (canalith) enter the inner ear canals. The inner ear sends signals to the brain about the head and body movements relative to gravity. This process helps the body maintain balance. BPPV can occur without a known reason and may be age related. The cause of vertigo is quite common.
  • Meniere’s disease. This is an inner ear disorder that is thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changes in the ear. This can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus) and hearing loss.
  • Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis. This is an inner ear problem usually associated with infection (usually a virus). Infection causes inflammation in the inner ear around nerves which is important to help balance the body.

2. Central Vertigo

Central vertigo occurs due to brain problems. The part of the brain that most influences the incidence of this disease is the cerebellum or cerebellum.

The following are some of the conditions that cause central vertigo, including:

  • Stroke. A condition of blood vessel blockage that occurs in the brain.
  • Drug consumption. certain types of drugs that can cause side effects of vertigo.
  • Brain tumor. This disease attacks the cerebellum or cerebellum, resulting in impaired coordination of body movements.
  • Migraine. The appearance of a migraine or headache is accompanied by throbbing pain and is often experienced by people who are young. Migraine is usually considered as one of the common causes of this disease.
  • Multiple sclerosis. Nerve signal disorders that occur in the central nervous system (brain and spine) caused by errors in a person’s immune system.
  • Acoustic neuroma. Benign tumors that grow in the vestibular nerve, the nervous system that connects the ear to the brain. Most cases of acoustic neuroma occur due to genetic abnormalities.

Conditions that Increase the Risk of Vertigo

Vertigo caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is more common in people aged 50 years or older, and is more common in women than men. In addition, head injuries or other disorders of the ear balance organ can also make you more vulnerable to vertigo.

Symptoms of Vertigo

Keep in mind that vertigo attacks can occur suddenly and can last long or brief. If you have severe vertigo, the symptoms of vertigo can last for several days so that it interferes with daily activities.

The most common symptom is that your surroundings feel like spinning accompanied by buzzing in the ears. The impact, the feeling of wanting to vomit is inevitable and makes you unable to stand up.

Although vertigo is a symptom, this condition can also cause or occur together with other symptoms, such as:

  • Balance problem.
  • Dizzy.
  • Travel sickness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Ringing in the ear (tinnitus).
  • Full feeling in the ear.
  • Nystagmus, where the eye moves uncontrollably usually from side to side.

Vertigo diagnosis

During the diagnosis, the doctor can examine how you walk, maintain balance, and how the main nerves of the central nervous system work. In addition to hearing tests and balance tests, other tests that may be carried out include:

  • Eye Movement Testing

Your doctor will monitor your eye’s path when you track a moving object. In addition, you may be given an eye movement test where water or air is placed in the ear canal.

  • Head Movement Testing

If the doctor suspects that vertigo is caused by benign paroxysmal positional ness, the doctor may perform a simple head movement test called a Dix-Hallpike maneuver to verify the diagnosis.

  • Posturography

This test tells the doctor which part of the balance system is the most reliable and which part is causing the disorder. This test is done standing barefoot on the platform and trying to maintain balance in various conditions.

  • Rotary Chair Testing

During this test, you sit in a computer-controlled chair that moves very slowly in a full circle. At a faster speed, it moves back and forth in a very small arch.

In addition to some vertigo tests as above, you may be advised to do a blood test to check for infections and other tests to check the health of your heart and blood vessels.

Meanwhile, warning signs of serious complications include:

  • Vertigo that appears suddenly is not affected by changes in position.
  • Vertigo is associated with neurological signs such as lack of severe muscle coordination or new weakness.
  • Vertigo associated with deafness and no history of Ménière’s disease.

Vertigo treatment

Medication for vertigo depends on what causes it. In many cases, without having to look for vertigo what the cure is, vertigo can disappear on its own. This cure without vertigo occurs because the brain is able to adapt at least in part, and with changes in the inner ear.

For some people, ways to deal with vertigo that are needed can include:

1. Vestibular Rehabilitation

This is a type of physical therapy that aims to help strengthen the vestibular system. The function of the vestibular system is to send signals to the brain about the head and body movements relative to gravity. Vestibular rehabilitation may be recommended if you have recurrent attacks of vertigo. This helps train the senses to compensate.

2. Canalite Maneuver

Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology recommend a series of special movements for the head and body in order to handle BPPV. Movements made to move calcium deposits out of the canal into the inner ear space so that they can be absorbed by the body.

You may have symptoms of vertigo during the procedure when the canalite moves. A doctor or physical therapist can guide this maneuver movement.

3. Prescription drugs

In some cases, medication can be given to relieve symptoms such as nausea or hangovers related to vertigo. If vertigo is caused by infection or inflammation, antibiotics or steroids can reduce swelling and cure the infection. Vertigo medications for Meniere’s disease, such as diuretics (water pills) can be prescribed to reduce the pressure from fluid buildup.

Other vertigo medications that you can use: antihistamines, such as betahistine. Benzodiazepines, such as diazepam and lorazepam. Anti-emetic, such as metoclopramide.

4. Operation

In some cases, surgery may be needed for vertigo. If vertigo is caused by a more serious underlying problem, such as a tumor or injury to the brain or neck, surgery can help to relieve vertigo.

In addition to the steps above that can be done, there are ways to overcome vertigo with natural ingredients that can be tried, including:

  • Cayenne pepper.
  • Turmeric.
  • Ginkgo Biloba.
  • Ginger root.
  • Gongjin-dan.

Although there is not enough evidence to confirm that herbal medicines can relieve vertigo. However, clinical trials that are currently being carried out are investigating the effects of Gongjin-dan.

Meanwhile, a study published at the National Center for Biotechnology Information revealed, acupuncture can reduce the symptoms of vertigo. However, further research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of this treatment method.

You should ask your doctor before using any alternative treatment. In addition, you should also visit a doctor if vertigo occurs suddenly or worsens because this may require treatment according to the underlying condition.

Vertigo Prevention

Vertigo can increase your risk of falling and hurting yourself. Having vertigo while driving or operating heavy equipment can increase the chance of an accident.

Here are some steps you can take to prevent vertigo, including:

  • People whose balance is affected by vertigo must take precautions to prevent injuries from falling.
  • People who have stroke risk factors must control high blood pressure and high cholesterol and stop smoking.
  • People with Ménière’s disease must limit salt in their food.


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