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Vertigo is defined as a hallucination of movement resultant from a problematic or infected vestibular portion of the inner ear. Vertigo is one of the most prominent symptoms of Meniere’s disease. Other symptoms of Meniere’s disease includes:

  • Tinnitus
  • Deafness
  • Recruitment
  • Hyperacusis

Usually the patient’s visual field (what you see when you keep your eyes open) moves in some way. Vertigo is a kind of dizziness that may last several minutes or hours and you can have:

  • Mild spells (You feel a little unsteady on your feet)
  • Bad spells (You might not be able to stand up and it can make you feel sick and throw up)

Vertigo can get worse by just turning your head, which make activities like sports and driving harder. You may also find it hard to tell which way is up and which way is down.

What causes vertigo?

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The exact cause of vertigo is not yet discovered but attacks often follow after a flu-like illness or severe ear infection.

The hearing and balance nerves in the ear can become affected by compressive blood vessels which results in balance disorders, hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The compression of these nerves results in a syndrome where the patient has actual spinning or feeling of disequilibrium.

Vertigo is commonly caused by irritation of tiny hair structure which project into canals (labyrinths) located deep in the inner ear within the vestibular system. Body positioning determines the extent of fluid and particles movements in the labyrinths. The hair cells therefore help the brain to define the orientation of the body. When these hair cells become inflamed, they randomly send confusing messages to the brain. The brain gets tricked into thinking that the surroundings are whirling.

Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that causes vertigo. Vertigo caused by Meniere’s disease is often associated with ringing or roaring and progressive hearing loss in the affected ear. Other causes of vertigo include inflammation of the vestibular nerves which may occur after an injury to the head involving the inner ear structures.

People suffering from stroke, pneumonia, tumor and epilepsy often suffer a great deal of vertigo.

The symptoms of Vertigo

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These are some of the symptoms of vertigo:

  • Unsteadiness
  • Imbalance
  • Spinning
  • Lightheadedness
  • Blurry vision
  • Disorientation
  • Poor equilibrium
  • Severe dizziness

The symptoms of vertigo may also vary from one patient to the next due to the frequency of attacks and causes:

Acute vertigo

Acute vertigo is a condition that usually remits gradually over a few weeks and can rarely persist for a long period of time. However, it often causes chronic dizziness and a sense of susceptibility to travel sickness.

Recurrent vertigo

Recurrent episodic vertigo refers to episodic hallucination of movement that come and goes and each episode may last for minutes or hours. The shortest attack may last up to 30 minutes. Recurrent attacks of episodic vertigo that last for hours may symbolize Meniere’s disease.

Positional vertigo

This type of vertigo often lasts for seconds and usually occurs after a latent period due to head orientation due to gravity force. One can experience vertigo while sleeping but not while sitting up straight.

Migraineuos vertigo

Sometimes vertigo can occur to people with migraine headaches. This often happen to normal hearing children and young adults who have migraine headaches and recurrent vertigo. This type of headache is called migraneous vertigo. This type of headache is accompanied by dizziness and motion intolerance.

This type of vertigo is more predominant in females than males and can last for minutes and even hours. In all cases imbalance and nausea are evident to the severity of migraneous vertigo (migraine associate vertigo).


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