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Am I at Risk for Vertigo?

Am I at Risk for Vertigo?

When you feel like you’re spinning, but you aren’t, you have vertigo. You might only feel the sensation for a few seconds, but the reason why may be mysterious. That’s partly because vertigo isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of another condition. The chances of vertigo being associated with a serious condition are low, but it can happen. 

The professionals at Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates are vertigo experts. They can help you uncover the reasons for your vertigo if a cause is there to be found, or they can help you manage your symptoms when the reasons are unknown. Schedule a visit today. 

Causes of vertigo

There are two types of vertigo, determined by where in your vestibular system the problems originate. The balance organs of the inner ear are the issue behind peripheral vertigo. In this case, there may be mechanical issues with the inner ear, or something may interfere with the signals the inner ear sends to the brain. 

Central vertigo describes problems that originate in the brain. These can happen because of a brain injury, stroke, tumor, infection, or other issue. 

Vertigo and dizziness, while related, are separate symptoms. When you’re dizzy, you may feel unbalanced in an overall way, but you won’t have a sensation of movement or spinning. 

The most common cause of peripheral vertigo is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). On its own, BPPV isn’t a serious health issue, but it can make you unsteady on your feet and prone to falling. 

There’s often no known reason for BPPV. When there is, it’s often due to a head injury. Less often, damage to your middle ear may be the cause. 

BPPV accounts for about 93% of vertigo complaints combined with labyrinthitis and Meniere’s disease. Labyrinthitis results from inner ear infections, while the causes of Meniere’s disease are largely unknown, but connected with several potential conditions. 

Am I at risk for vertigo?

Anyone of any age can suffer from vertigo, but it becomes more common as you get older, and it affects women more often than men. While it’s not hereditary in itself, some of the conditions that cause vertigo may be inherited. 

Certain medications can lead to vertigo attacks. People with low blood pressure might feel vertigo when they stand quickly. Migraine sufferers may have episodes of vertigo before, during, or after the headache itself; for some, vertigo is their main migraine symptom. 

Some medical conditions including arrhythmia, diabetes, and multiple sclerosis can have vertigo as a side effect. 

Vertigo treatments

Since BPPV is the most common reason for vertigo, canalith repositioning may be the most common treatment. BPPV happens due to calcium deposits called canaliths moving between inner ear chambers. Careful repositioning clears these deposits. 

Treating underlying conditions often causes vertigo episodes to clear up. When symptoms persist, vestibular rehabilitation can help you compensate for vertigo attacks. 

Call the nearest office of Lawrence Otolaryngology Associates in Lawrence or Ottawa to learn more about your vertigo and how to deal with it. Chances are, there is a solution for you, so book your appointment today. 

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