Vertigo is commonly described as a feeling as if the surroundings are spinning, tilting or moving around. This often causes dizziness, unsteadiness and loss of balance, and can lead to accidents.

  • Causes of Vertigo
  • Symptoms of Vertigo
  • Diagnosis of Vertigo
  • Treatment Options for Vertigo

Causes of Vertigo

Vertigo can be caused by inner ear problems from the following conditions:

Symptoms of Vertigo

Prominent symptoms include dizziness and loss of balance, which are the same symptoms as motion sickness, but with vertigo, they can come and go. Other symptoms are nausea, vomiting, light-headedness, a feeling of pressure in the ear, ringing in the ear, hearing loss and blurred vision during movement.

Diagnosis of Vertigo

The diagnosis of vertigo is based on an appraisal of the following information:
  • History of symptoms
    • Signs and symptoms of dizziness (such as nausea or vomiting), duration and time of each occurrence, as well as hearing problems (such as a feeling of pressure in the ear or ringing in the ear).
    • Medical history, including underlying diseases, ear disorders, injuries, surgery and medication
  • Physical examination
    • Ear examination
    • Nerve and balance system examination
    • Eye movement from side to side in different positions
  • Additional tests (to detect abnormal function in the inner ear)
    • Hearing test (Audiogram)
    • Balance organ in the inner ear test (Videonystagmography: VNG)
    • Fluid pressure test (Electrocochleography: ECOG)
    • Neurologic test of auditory function (Evoke Response Audiometry)
    • Test for balance (Posturography)
  • Special X-Ray (to detect brain tumor of the nerve that carries balance information to the brain) including Computed Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Treatment Options for Vertigo

Vertigo can be caused by several factors. The preferred treatment option depends on the underlying cause of the condition. The doctor will choose the most appropriate treatment plan for each patient based on the diagnosis.

Self-Care Tips

  • Avoid positions and situations that can cause dizziness, such as turning your head quickly, moving around quickly, bending or twisting your neck fully in any direction.
  • Reduce or avoid cigarettes and coffee.
  • Avoid factors that can cause dizziness, such as stress, anxiety, allergens and inadequate sleep.
  • Avoid situations that can lead to accidents, such as driving or climbing.
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