Vertigo is often linked to a popular movie from years ago with the same name. This movie does not really give an accurate description of vertigo but rather acrophobia: fear of heights. Vertigo actually has to do with a spinning sensation. It is the false sensation that you or the things around you are spinning when they are actually standing still. Vertigo is not a disease. It is a symptom of other illnesses. It may have to do with a problem of the inner ear, the brain, or a sensory nerve pathway. Vertigo is most common in people over the age of 65, but it can happen to anyone at any time.
Vertigo is not very predictable. It can be temporary or long-term. Vertigo continuing to happen over and over may be linked to a mental health issue. It may be that the psychiatric problem leads to your lack of ability to perform your daily routines due to spinning may bring about panic, depression, and anxiety.
Symptoms of Vertigo
You will feel as if you or the items around you are moving or spinning. Even though it is a symptom itself, it is often accompanied by the following:
- Balance problems and lightheadedness
- Nausea and vomiting
- A feeling of fullness or congestion in the ear
- A headache
- A feeling of motion sickness
Vertigo is not a feeling of faintness. To be true vertigo, it has to have a false sensation of rotational movement.
What Causes Vertigo?
Many different illnesses have the symptom of vertigo. It often comes about due to a problem of the inner ear or, rarely, problems in parts of the brain. The following conditions cause vertigo:
- Labyrinthitis: This is an inflammation of the inner ear labyrinth and the nerve responsible for detecting the body’s head movements and position, as well as sound. This nerve is called the vestibulocochlear nerve. The inflammation is usually due to a viral infection.
- Cholesteatoma: This is a skin growth in the middle ear that is a result of repeated infections. It if becomes too large, it can damage the ear and cause hearing loss and vertigo.
- Vestibular Neuronitis: This is a result of the inflammation of the vestibular nerve because of a viral infection.
- Meniere’s disease: Fluid buildup in the inner ear leads to attacks of vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. Meniere’s most often affects people in the age range of 40 to 60 years.
- BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo): This comes from a disturbance in the otolith particles located in the inner ear. These are basically calcium crystals that touch the sensory hair cells inside the semicircular canals when you are in motion. Then, they stimulate the vestibular nerve, causing it to send information to your brain about the body’s position. When you have BPPV, the endolymph fluid continues moving after your head movement has stopped because these crystals are in the wrong area of the ear. This causes vertigo.
Vertigo is also caused by or related to the following:
- Migraine headaches
- Prolonged bed rest
- Surgery on the ear
- Head or neck injuries or trauma
- Certain medications
- Otosclerosis — a middle ear bone problem leading to hearing loss
- Perilymphatic fistula — a tear in one or both of the membranes that separate the middle and inner ear allowing fluid from the inner ear to leak into the middle ear
- Side effects of medication or drug toxicity
- Herpes zoster oticus — an acute viral infection of shingles that is close to the ear and impacts the facial nerve; aka Ramsay Hunt syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Acoustic neuroma — a benign growth on the vestibular nerve passing through the inner ear to the brain
- Transient ischemic attack
- Cerebellar or brainstem disease, including tumors or strokes
Two Types of Vertigo
There are two basic categories of vertigo: peripheral and central. These are determined based on the cause.
Peripheral vertigo: This happens when there is a problem with the balance organs of the inner ear.
Central vertigo: This is a result of a disturbance in one or more areas of the brain called the sensory nerve pathways. It usually involves the brainstem and the cerebellum. These parts of the brain deal with the interaction between a person’s perception of vision and balance.
Finding Help for Vertigo Naturally
The best way to know if something really works is to ask someone who has tried it. A study observing 60 patients diagnosed with spinning and getting upper cervical chiropractic care sheds light on whether this type of procedure works. Out of the 60 patients, 56 recalled having some sort of head or neck trauma before the onset. After being examined, it was discovered that each one had a misalignment in the top bones of the neck. They then got care from an upper cervical chiropractor, such as those here at Symmetry Health Chiropractic Center in Cedar Park, Texas. The results were astounding! All of them responded positively within 6 months of care. Forty-eight were symptom-free and the remaining 12 saw a vast improvement in the severity and frequency of their spinning.
The method we use is similar and produces equally good results. The technique is gentle and does not put the neck under stress since we do not have to resort to popping or cracking the spine for positive results. Rather, the gentle method helps the bones move back into place more naturally, leading to a longer-lasting result. Many report seeing a great improvement in their symptoms.
To schedule a complimentary consultation call our Cedar Park, TX office at 512-572-3976. You can also click the button below. If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.