Vertigo is the sensation of disorientation or dizziness that leaves you feeling extremely unbalanced. Many that suffer from vertigo describe the sensation as their head is spinning or that everything is spinning around them. Those who have experienced the uncomfortable feeling of vertigo know that it can be frustrating and impact your daily life- even leading to anxiety and depression in patients with chronic vertigo.
Cases of vertigo can either be chronic or temporary based upon the underlying condition causing vertigo. There can be many causes of vertigo, which is merely a symptom of a more significant issue. Most often, the underlying condition is related to inner issues. An ear, nose, and throat doctor (ENT) near you can diagnose and treat the condition so you can start feeling like yourself again.
Most Common Causes of Vertigo
Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV)
BPV is the most common form of vertigo and is caused by crystals in the ear canals shifting into the wrong place and usually happens when you turn your head a certain way. Such as turning in bed, tilting your head up or down, or bending over. When they become dislodged, they can move into one of the semicircular canals — especially while you’re lying down. The dislodged crystals cause the semicircular canal to become sensitive to head position changes it would typically not respond to, which is what makes you feel dizzy.
BPV is not a severe condition and is only temporary, but frequent occurrences can cause frustration. It typically goes away on its own with time, but to get relief sooner, you can visit an ear, nose, and throat doctor.
Vestibular Neuritis is caused by inflammation of your vestibular nerve, which is a nerve in the ear that transmits information to your brain about balance. When the nerve is inflamed, balance information is not adequately communicated to your brain, making you feel disoriented. The cause of the inflammation is typically a viral infection in your inner ear or other parts of your body.
While vestibular neuritis usually improves after a few days, the symptoms can take about three weeks to subside. It’s possible to have recurring episodes of dizziness and vertigo for several months. An ENT will get to the root of your problem by ruling out any serious issue like a stroke or neurological issue. Once an MRI or a movement test proves that there aren’t any neurological issues, your ENT may ask for a hearing test to decipher which nerves are affected.
Labyrinthitis is often confused with Vestibular Neuritis. While the two conditions are very similar, there are slight differences. As noted previously, vestibular neuritis refers to inflammation of your vestibular nerve only. Labyrinthitis refers to your vestibular nerve’s inflammation and your cochlear nerve, which transmits information about your hearing.
In addition to vertigo, those with labyrinthitis may experience nausea, loss of hearing in the high-frequency range in one ear, tinnitus, and difficulty focusing their eyes. Symptoms of labyrinthitis begin quickly and can be somewhat intense for several days. They usually start to fade after several days, but they can continue to surface when you move your head suddenly. This condition doesn’t usually cause pain but can affect your daily life because it can interfere with driving, working, and other activities. Several factors can cause this condition, including infections and viruses. You should receive prompt treatment for any ear infections from your ENT.
This uncommon condition occurs when there is too much fluid in the ears, which causes increased pressure and swelling in the ears. It can affect the hearing and balance signals, which causes vertigo that last for hours. Meniere’s disease may also cause hearing problems, tinnitus or buzzing or ringing in the ears, the feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear. These symptoms tend to come on as “episodes” or “attacks.”
Meniere’s disease is chronic, but treatments performed by an ENT can help ease the symptoms. Many people diagnosed with Meniere’s disease will go into remission within a few years after their diagnosis.
The doctors at Camellia ENT want to help you get relief from your vertigo so you can live life to the fullest without discomfort. Make an appointment today with an ENT if you are experiencing vertigo.