We’ve all had brief moments of feeling dizzy, whether we stood up too fast or just finished a long run through Anderson Park. If the sensation is mild and fleeting, it’s often nothing to worry about. However, if you are experiencing persistent or intense dizzy spells or episodes of vertigo, it may be a sign of another health problem.
What Is Vertigo?
It’s a common problem, with research showing that dizziness including vertigo affects about 15% to over 20% of adults yearly.
Vertigo Is Frequently the Result of Inner Ear Problems
Inner ear problems are a leading cause of a type of vertigo known as peripheral vertigo, while central vertigo is caused by disturbances in the brain. Let’s look at a few of the more common inner ear problems that cause vertigo:
- Benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of peripheral vertigo. BPPV involves intense, sporadic episodes of vertigo that are triggered by a change in head position. Additional symptoms may include nausea and vomiting. Symptoms come and go, often lasting under a minute.
- Labyrinthitis: Infection of the inner ear’s labyrinth and vestibular nerve that can cause vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss that can become permanent if left untreated
- Vestibular neuronitis: Inflammation of the vestibular nerve
- Meniere’s disease: An ear disorder that is linked to excess pressure in the ear and can cause tinnitus and temporary hearing loss in addition to vertigo
Causes of Dizziness Not Related to the Ear
In addition to issues related to the inner ear, many other factors may cause you to feel dizzy. These can range from relatively benign conditions to serious medical emergencies. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Low blood pressure
- Certain medications
- Neurological conditions like multiple sclerosis
- Circulation problems
- Low blood sugar
- Food allergies
- Motion sickness
- Heat exposure or heatstroke
Visiting a Doctor for Your Dizziness or Vertigo
Because there are so many different causes, any persistent dizziness should be evaluated by a medical professional to help find a cause and potential treatment options.
If you are experiencing vertigo due to an inner ear issue, treatment options can include head maneuvers performed by a balance specialist, medications, dietary and lifestyle changes, and in some cases, surgical procedures to eliminate your symptoms.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact Advantage ENT & Audiology today.