We’ve all felt dizzy after a boat ride, an amusement park ride, or spinning in a circle. However, if you feel as if you’ve just gotten off a roller coaster, even if you haven’t moved much, you may have an inner ear balance problem. Vertigo is the medical term for this condition.
Vertigo is a spinning, dizzy experience in which the person feels as though the room or surrounding environment is whirling in circles around them. Many people confuse this feeling with a fear of heights, which is incorrect.
If vertigo becomes a frequent experience, you should see an ENT specialist.
How does vertigo happen?
The three canals in your inner ear detect several forms of movement: up and down, side to side, rotating in any direction and tilting. These canals are filled with fluid, which contains floating membranes containing small cells that relay information to your brain.
That unique sensory information, along with what you see and feel, assists you in navigating the physical environment. All of this incoming sensory information is eventually interpreted by the brain and translated into coordination, balance, and movement.
When those incoming impulses are disrupted, you may suffer dizziness, nausea, or the sensation that the world is spinning. You can even feel as though you’re about to fall.
Vertigo is a symptom of sickness rather than an illness itself. Vertigo can be caused by a variety of illnesses. Among these conditions are:
An infection can induce inflammation of the inner ear labyrinth, resulting in this condition. The vestibulocochlear nerve is located inside this region. This nerve transmits information regarding head motion, position, and sound to the brain.
Aside from dizziness and vertigo, a person suffering from labyrinthitis may also suffer from hearing loss, tinnitus, migraines, ear discomfort, and vision alterations.
Vestibular neuritis, or inflammation of the vestibular nerve, is caused by an infection. It is comparable to labyrinthitis, however, it does not impair hearing. Vertigo caused by vestibular neuritis may be accompanied by blurred vision, acute nausea, or a sense of being off-balance.
This noncancerous skin growth forms in the middle ear as a result of persistent infection. It can harm the bone components of the middle ear as it develops beneath the eardrum, resulting in hearing loss and dizziness.
3. Ménière’s Disease
This condition results in an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear, which can cause vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. It is more prevalent in adults between the ages of 40 and 60.
The precise cause is unknown, however, it could be caused by blood vessel constriction, a viral infection, or an immunological reaction. It may also have a hereditary component, which implies it runs in certain families.
4. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
The inner ear contains structures known as otolith organs, which contain fluid and calcium carbonate crystal particles.
These crystals get dislodged and fall into the semicircular canals in BPPV. During movement, each dropped crystal comes into contact with sensory hair cells within the cupula of the semicircular canals.
As a result, the brain receives erroneous information regarding a person’s position, resulting in spinning dizziness. People normally suffer vertigo for less than 60 seconds, but nausea and other symptoms may also occur.
Some forms of vertigo resolve on their own, but a person may require therapy for an underlying issue. For example, an ENT specialist may prescribe antibiotics for a bacterial infection or antiviral medications for shingles.
The doctor may decide to subject you to a hearing test if you complain about hearing loss due to vertigo.
Some symptoms can be alleviated with medications. These medications include antihistamines and antiemetics, which are used to treat motion sickness and nausea. If various therapies are ineffective, surgery may be required.
In a Nutshell
Although various illnesses might cause your inner ear–balance system to fall out of kilt, they are all treatable with the intervention of an ENT specialist.
Consult a doctor right away if your vertigo begins abruptly or worsens, since you may have an underlying condition that requires treatment.