What is Vertigo?
It’s that dizzy, wobbly or off-balance feeling which is awfully worrying.
A colleague of mine in her early 20’s experienced these ‘dizzy’ episodes, completely puzzled as to the cause. She immediately thought the worst, that being a brain tumor, Parkinson’s disease or any other dreaded illness. Her mind was to put to rest when it was discovered she was diagnosed with Vertigo (which is a condition).
Common most in the elderly, both sexes at any age can be affected also by vertigo resulting in a temporary or permanent condition.
After some research, it was discovered that the vestibular system is the organ of balance in the ear, a tiny network of fluid-filled tubes and sacs. In each inner ear, there are two identical vestibular systems found in the labyrinth of each inner ear. As your body shifts so do the liquid in the tubes where levels are read by nerve cells, sending information to the brain, which in turn calculates which direction is down and what should be the horizontal level.
Balance problems originate in the vestibular system, and people suffering from recurrent vertigo could have a vestibular disorder. Also, difficulties with balance may be associated with hearing loss or ‘ringing in the ears’.
1. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Common form of vertigo, caused by certain head positions or movements, produced by calcium deposits in the ear canal when they become dislodged and cause symptoms.
2. Head trauma: A violent blow to a person’s head can instigate temporary or permanent damage in the inner ear, resulting in balance problems.
3. Labyrinthitis: Middle ear bacterial infection that goes untreated. The infection can travel into the inner ear damaging the labyrinth causing hearing loss.
4. Neuronitis: Viral neuronitis really is viral labyrinthitis, which affects the nerves of the vestibular system and not the hearing organ. Be aware that neuronitis may also be caused by a blood clot in the blood vessels that feed the inner ear.
5. Ménière’s disease: Originally named ‘watchmaker’s disease’, striking people who perform precise, intricate tasks which require concentration and careful control with their hands for an extended period. The cause is undetermined.
Note: Some antibiotics in high doses or prolonged use may damage the vestibular system.
Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, sedatives, tranquilizers, and several illegal drugs can cause temporary dizziness, however, have no permanent impairment to the balance organs once discontinued.
Antibiotics, other medications, possibly surgery or it may clear up on its own.
Rehabilitation programs may assist people with vestibular damage to improve their steadiness, coordination and overcome vision problems.
If vertigo is tied to motion sickness or other kinds of movement, try avoiding the triggers or apply a technique termed visual fixation (fixating the eyes on a specific point on the horizon).
Written by Deb McCarthy Dec/2017
Information source: DynacarePlus.com