What is Vertigo and what causes it
Vertigo is a sensation or feeling of spinning around and losing one’s balance even though there is no movement in you or environment.
What causes vertigo?
If the vertigo is caused by problems in the brain or central nervous system it is referred as central vertigo and if the vertigo is caused by problems in inner ear, then it is termed as a peripheral vertigo.
The labyrinth of the inner ear has tiny organs that allow messages to be sent to the brain in response to gravity. By intimating our brains about the movement from the vertical position, we are able to maintain balance or equilibrium. Disturbance to this system therefore produces vertigo that can created by inflammation among other causes.
The inflammation can be observed in the following conditions,
This is inflammation of labyrinth and vestibular nerve (the nerve that is responsible for encoding the body’s motion and position)
This is due to inflammation of the vestibular nerve. Meniere’s disease: It is a disorder of the inner ear that is characterized by episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss, and fullness in the ear. The cause of Meniere’s disease is unclear but likely involves both genetic and environmental factors. A number of theories exist for why it occurs including constrictions in blood vessels, viral infections, and autoimmune reactions.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo(BPPV):
(BPPV) is the thought to be caused by a disturbance in the otolith particles. Otolith particles are the crystals of calcium carbonate presnt in the inner ear fluid that pull on sensory hair cells during movement and so stimulate the vestibular nerve to send positional information to the brain. In people with BPPV, Endolymph fluid continues even after normal head movement have stopped.
BPPV vertigo can also be caused by
- • A head injury
- • Reduced blood flow in a certain area of the brain (vertebrobasilar ischemia)
- • An episode of labyrinthitis
- • Ear surgery
- • Prolonged bed rest.
Central vertigo occurs by following causes,
- • When there is disturbance to the part of the brain (brainstem and cerebellum) that deals with interaction between the senses of vision and balance and,
- • Sensory messages to and from the thalamus.
- • Migraine headache
- • Transient ischemic attack
- • Multiple sclerosis: The inability to move the eyes to the midline toward the nose.
- • Acoustic neuroma: Vertigo causing one sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
Symptoms of Vertigo:
Vertigo is normally caused by a change in the position of the head. The following symptoms may be experienced by the people, who are suffering from Vertigo
- • Spinning
- • Vomiting
- • Feeling nauseated
- • Unbalanced
- • Pulled to one direction
- • Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
- • Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- • Sweating
- • Headache