Vertigo is a condition that affects many people in the United States. It is often confused with dizziness, but it is actually quite different. While dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness or unsteadiness, vertigo is a sensation that the world is spinning around you. It can be very uncomfortable and disorienting. Although the condition is quite common, not everyone knows what it is, how to recognize it, or what causes it…
What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a type of dizziness that makes you feel like you or the surrounding things are spinning or moving, even when you’re not. It’s kind of like when you go on a roller coaster, and you feel dizzy afterward, but with vertigo, you feel that way all the time. There are two main types of vertigo: peripheral and central.
- Central vertigo happens when there’s a problem with your brain or nervous system.
- Peripheral vertigo happens when there’s a problem with your inner ear, which is the part of your ear that helps you balance.
Both types can be pretty uncomfortable and can affect your ability to do everyday things, like walking or driving.
Causes of Vertigo
Generally, it has to do with a problem in the inner ear. For example, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) & Meniere’s disease. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common cause of vertigo. With BPPV, tiny crystals in your inner ear get moved around and cause you to feel dizzy. It’s called “benign” because it’s not dangerous, but it can make you feel pretty uncomfortable. However, it can also be something more serious, such as a brain tumor, a stroke, a viral infection, or a head or neck injury. Note that the likelihood of these more serious causes is small. Other possible (medical) causes include:
- Certain medication
- Low blood pressure
- Ear surgery
- Multiple sclerosis
- Prolonged bed rest
- Shingles in or around the ear
Fortunately, vertigo isn’t hereditary nor can it be caused by stress. Although stress can cause problems with the inner ear which in turn can lead to the condition. Stress also increases your risk of getting a stroke of which vertigo is a symptom. Continue reading on the next page and discover how you can recognize you’re suffering from this kind of dizziness and what you should do next.