Have you ever experienced an episode of unexplained dizziness where you felt like you or your environment was moving or spinning? If so, you may have experienced an episode of vertigo.
Are There Types of Vertigo?
There are two types of vertigo – peripheral and central.
Peripheral vertigo is associated with problems in the inner ear.
Your vestibular system sends signals to the brain about the position of your head in relation to movement, enabling you to keep your balance and maintain equilibrium. Vertigo occurs when these signals are disrupted. This is often caused by inflammation related to a viral infection.
Other causes of peripheral vertigo include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which occurs when tiny pieces of calcium break off and float in the tube of the inner ear, sending confusing messages to the brain, and Meniere’s disease, which involves excess pressure of the fluid in the inner ear.
Central vertigo occurs when there is a problem in the brain, usually affecting the brainstem or the cerebellum. These parts of the brain are responsible for interactions between the visual and balance systems; any disturbance can lead to vertigo.
The most common cause of central vertigo is a migraine headache. Other less common conditions that can trigger central vertigo include stroke, tumors, acoustic neuroma, multiple sclerosis, alcohol and certain drugs.
What Are the Symptoms of Vertigo?
Technically speaking, vertigo is actually a symptom itself. It is characterized by the sensation that you or the room you are in is moving or spinning. It is often accompanied by additional symptoms such as:
- Hearing loss
- Difficulty focusing or moving the eyes
- Double vision
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
How is Vertigo Treated?
If you are suffering from vertigo, your Cedar Park hearing specialist will first review your medical history and complete a physical exam and balance tests. They will often then order a CT scan or MRI.
The treatment for your condition depends on the type and severity of your vertigo. Some may have their vertigo disappear without the need for treatment.
Those with BPPV, the most common type of vertigo, respond well to head maneuvers, while other types are successfully treated with medication. When the condition persists, physical therapy can help.
If you are tired of living with vertigo, now is the time to do something about it. Contact your Cedar Park hearing specialist to schedule an appointment today.