Vertigo and Dizziness
Vertigo and dizziness sends your world spinning
Vertigo affects almost 40% of people over 40 at least once in their lifetime. It can be extremely debilitating and stop you enjoying life.
Several body systems interact together to keep the body in balance and, as such, dizziness or vertigo can result from a number of conditions or factors. It may also be an indicator of an underlying medical emergency such as stroke or brain tumour. This is why a medical check-up for these conditions is so important.
What is vertigo?
Vertigo refers to a sensation that people feel when they move, stand quickly or spin in circles.
Essentially, you feel like the room or the space is spinning when in fact you are standing or sitting still.
The feeling of imbalance and lack of control can last for a few minutes or even a few hours. In worst case scenarios the feeling may last for a number of days.
What causes vertigo?
The sensation of spinning is usually related to a problem with the inner ear which can throw you off balance. Any movement of the head or body can worsen your vertigo symptoms.
The symptoms are slightly different from light headedness or fainting and can be accompanied with nausea or vomiting. While the problem can occur as a direct result of an infection in the ear, a head injury or specific illness, it does not always have an obvious cause. Vertigo can develop unexpectedly and without any obvious underlying reasons attached.
While the underlying cause of the condition is not usually life-threatening or dangerous, poor balance and a feeling of weakness can result in accidents and injuries when left untreated.
What is Dizziness?
Dizziness is a similar condition to vertigo as it causes a spinning sensation in some instances, but it may also relate to deeper health concerns. Individuals often feel lightheaded, weak or woozy when they are feeling dizzy.
The underlying causes of the situation can include upper neck problems, motion sickness, medication side effects and poor circulation. Infections or injuries to the inner ear can also lead to dizziness.
Some serious causes of vertigo may be a neurological problem like Ménière’s disease, stroke or even a tumour.
Recovering from vertigo and dizziness
Dizziness often gets better without treatment. Often the body usually adapts to whatever is causing the dizziness in a couple of weeks.
During the examination you health care practitioners will often conduct balance tests, looking not only at the vestibular system (in the ear) but also the eyes and muscles, all of which are part of the wider balance system. The examination may include hearing and balance tests, such as; Eye movement testing, Head movement testing, Posturography and Rotary chair testing.
In some cases Ear Nose and Throat specialists, audiologists, vestibular physiotherapists and other allied health professions will work together to find the best treatment and management options.
The most important aspect of treatment is first understanding the underlying cause.
If necessary, your GP may try implementing the use of certain medications such as Diuretics, antihistamines and anti-anxiety medications.
The Epley’s manoeuvre (primarily for BPPV) can be done by your doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, or other health care professional if the cause is from within the ear, which may provide some symptom relief.
To learn more, or to or to make an appointment to see if chiropractic care may benefit you call us on 4779 3633, or book your own appointment using the link below.