If you’ve ever experienced the sensation that the world around you is moving while you’re not, you’ve probably experienced vertigo. It’s a fairly common sensation that most people experience at some point in their life, but sometimes vertigo can be a more serious problem that can have dangerous consequences.
What Is It?
It’s most commonly caused by problems with the inner ear, which is responsible for the sensation of balance in the body. When it doesn’t work right, it can cause feelings of dizziness or being off-balance, even when sitting or lying down. This is because your disrupted inner ear sends signals to the brain that aren’t consistent with what the eyes and other senses are experiencing. While dizziness is also common in circulatory or nutritional causes, vertigo is a specific type of dizziness where it seems like things are spinning when they are not.
What Can Cause It?
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause, although not much is known about the cause of it. Usually, tiny calcium crystals are dislodged within the ear and disrupt the inner ear’s mechanisms which determine your position and balance. The episodes of vertigo most commonly occur during sudden movement of the head or position of the body.
- Infections of the inner ear can also disrupt your sense of balance and cause hearing loss. These can often be caused by other problems in the body that affect the ear, like the cold or flu.
- Acoustic Neuroma, or a benign growth that puts pressure on the inner ear and its nerves that communicate with the brain, can also cause vertigo slowly and over time.
- Meniere’s Disease can cause excessive fluid to build up inside the inner ear, as well as hearing loss, tinnitus, and the feeling of pressure. The cause of it is unknown, as well as a cure outside of treatment and prevention.
- Migraines have also been known to come with feelings of vertigo before, during, or after an episode, and can be associated with auras. It’s not well-known whether migraines can cause it or are simply accompanying another cause like the ones above. But, some migraineurs experience what’s commonly called migraine assisted vertigo.
If you’ve been experiencing vertigo and would like to speak with a specialist about the cause and treatment options, contact our office to schedule a consultation, or visit our blog for more information!