Vertigo is the sensation of the entire world spinning, twirling, or rocking uncontrollably, especially when a person is seated perfectly still. Some patients use the word vertigo interchangeably with dizziness, which is a range of separate problems, ranging from balance issues to motion sickness and lightheadedness.
The word vertigo is sometimes used in conjunction with unsteadiness or imbalance. It can be described as a feeling that one’s senses are off balance or out of sync. This can happen on a broad scale, but in many cases it happens more specifically, like when dizzy when walking down a street.
There are several underlying causes of vertigo, including the symptoms listed above. Sometimes, vertigo is simply a manifestation of various underlying conditions. In these cases, the vertigo is merely an intensification of an issue that is already present. In other cases, vertigo is the symptom of a disorder or condition that is itself causing the dizziness.
Vertigo can affect any part of your body, but it feels different depending where you feel it. Because there is no accurate way to measure how your mind and body are connected, vertigo is often hard to diagnose. Several nerves carry signals from the brain directly to the sensory nerves. The nerves are attached to the eye, ears, nose, skin, mouth, and spine. When one of these nerves becomes damaged, the other sensory nerves may get corrupted too.
Migraines, hyperventilation, meniere’s disease, head injuries, and some types of tumors can all cause dizziness. Migraine headaches can also cause dizziness because they magnify the effects of light on the retina of the eyes. This light distortion is what causes vertigo. Tumors that extend into the brain itself, those that are malignant, those that are surgically removed, those that are infected, and other abnormalities in the brain can all lead to dizziness. Even sinus problems can have this side effect.
Anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants can treat both migraine headaches and dizziness. Most anti-anxiety drugs are non-benzodiazepines, which means they block the benzodiazepines at the benzodiazepine receptor, thereby blocking the peripheral nervous system from responding by excreting adrenaline. Which means the person becomes aware of their surroundings. However, there can be some dangerous side-effects to taking anti-anxiety medicines like these. The most common side effect is a rapid pace of slowing down, which can cause the person to lose consciousness.
There is also a misnomer that there is only one diagnosis for vertigo. There are several different types of this disorder and the symptoms may vary accordingly. When the inner ear is damaged, there can be a loss of balance as well as nausea and vomiting. The condition can also be accompanied by increased sensitivity to light. When an infection is present, there can be a weakness in specific body parts or the ability to not recognize objects that are near. These can make it impossible to perform everyday activities such as driving or walking.
A last type of vertigo that should be mentioned is the feeling that you are spinning. This is a sensation that is described as similar to being jolted when the body is shaken when a severe fall is suffered. Although this is not the most common symptom, it is a symptom that should be noted and treated, as if left untreated, can result in severe injury to the head or neck area.
In conclusion, dizziness, sensitivity to light and spinning sensations are the three main causes of vertigo. Being aware of these causes is the first step in treating your vertigo. If you have any of these symptoms you should see your doctor as soon as possible. Proper treatment can improve your balance and lessen your dizziness. If your dizziness persists or gets worse you should seek emergency medical care.