What Exactly Is Vertigo?

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What is Vertigo?

Dizzy WomanVertigo in itself is a symptom of other conditions, and it is defined in the medical community as: a specific kind of dizziness, a sense that you or your surroundings are moving, even though there is no actual movement. 

Causes

There are two types of vertigo, differentiated by what causes them:

  • Peripheral: caused by an imbalance of organs in the inner ear.
  • Central: caused by a disturbance in the brain or sensory nerve pathways.
Peripheral

inner-earPeripheral vertigo can be caused by inflammation or other disturbances to the inner ear system. The inner ear system has an array of tiny organs that send messages to the brain to identify when there is movement from the vertical position, so that we are able to maintain our balance and equilibrium.

Some of the conditions that might cause vertigo are Labyrinthitis, Vestibular Neuronitis, drug toxicity, syphilis, and other less common causes.

There are two main forms of vertigo:

Ménière’s disease: usually brought on by viral or bacterial infection, this form of vertigo is caused by accumulation of fluid in the inner ear.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: this form of vertigo occurs when the fluid that stimulates the vestibular nerve to send positional information to the brain continues to move even when the head has stopped moving, causing a sensation of outside movement when there is none.

Central

Central vertigo is caused by a disturbance in the parts of the brain that process interaction between our vision and balance, as well as a disturbance in the sensory messages that travel to and from the thalamus part of the brain.

Some probable causes of central vertigo are migraines, stroke, Cerebellar Brain Tumor, and Multiple Sclerosis.

Treatment

To treat vertigo one must treat the underlying cause of it, which might be a condition of the inner ear or the central nervous system. Some types of vertigo disappear without treatment, however it is recommended that you visit a specialist if you are suffering from vertigo in order treat any possible underlying cause.