Vertigo is the sensation of dizziness or imbalance and is often associated with nausea. Most people with vertigo report feeling as if they are spinning, tilting, swaying, pulled to one direction or just generally unbalanced.
Other symptoms of vertigo include nausea, vomiting, abnormal eye movement, headache, sweating, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and hearing loss. Symptoms can last just a few minutes or hours on end.
To find relief from vertigo, the first step is to determine the underlying cause.
Causes of Vertigo
The inner ear is responsible for helping you feel balanced. Most cases of vertigo are caused by some type of inner ear disfunction.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV occurs when calcium particles, also called canaliths, become dislodged in the inner ear. The canaliths send incorrect signals to the brain about body and head movements, which can in turn cause feelings of vertigo.
BPPV can be cured by a simple in-office procedure called the Epley maneuver, where a doctor holds your head in a series of specific positions while you perform certain movements. The purpose is to put canaliths back where they belong.
This inner ear disorder is believed by many to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It causes episodes of vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss. Meniere’s disease is a progressive condition, meaning episodes tend to worsen over time.
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Meniere’s disease. If this is the cause of your vertigo symptoms, a doctor may prescribe anti-nausea medication and advise you to avoid triggers.
Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis are usually related to a viral infection. Inflammation of the inner ear can affect the nerve responsible for helping you balance.
Antibiotics to fight the infection are the first course of treatment. Other medications for nausea may also be prescribed.
While the above causes are most common triggers for vertigo, symptoms may also be caused by:
- Head or neck injury
- Brain problems (stroke/tumor)
- Ototoxic medications
Contact an Expert
Audiologists are hearing and balance experts. They can perform a series of tests to determine the underlying cause of your nausea and recommend the most appropriate treatment.
To schedule an appointment with an audiologist, call Timpanogos Hearing & Balance today.