Did you know that vertigo is essentially a symptom of another underlying health condition? In general, vertigo can be caused by nervous system or brain issues, called central vertigo, or inner issues, called peripheral vertigo. Although other health conditions and certain risk factors can likewise cause vertigo, figuring out what’s causing your dizziness so you can get proper treatment.
Most Common Health Conditions that Cause Vertigo
According to the National Institutes of Health, NIH, approximately 93% vertigo cases are a result of one of the following:
- BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Position Vertigo – According to one of the most prominent hearing specialists in Denver, this occurs when tiny crystals break free and drift freely inside your semicircular canals or inner ear tubes. This usually leads to sudden but short vertigo episodes that only last for several seconds to a couple of minutes. Particular head movements could also trigger vertigo episodes in individuals with BPPV. Unfortunately, in most cases, the cause of BPPV isn’t always easily identifiable but is usually associated with a head injury.
- Meniere’s Disease – This is due to a buildup of excess fluid in the inner ear. Individuals with this disease usually experience intense and sudden vertigo episodes that could last for a significant amount of time. They might likewise experience plugged ears, some hearing loss, and ringing in their ears. While the exact cause of Meniere’s disease hasn’t been identified, it’s mostly associated with head injuries, viral inner ear infections, as wells as allergies.
- Labyrinthitis – Also called vestibular neuritis, this condition is marked by swelling and irritation of the inner ear, due to a virus or ear infection. Common symptoms aside from vertigo include hearing loss and headaches.
Other, less common, potential causes of vertigo include stroke, ostoclerosis, cholesteatoma, acoustic neuroma, perilymphatic fistula, migraine, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, chiari malfunction, diabetes, brain tumor, anxiety disorders, syphilis, allergies, pregnancy, changes in air pressure, and certain medications.
Head Injuries Might also Cause Vertigo
The American Hearing Research Foundation states that approximately 5% of people in the U.S. sustain head injuries every year. Traumatic head injuries could result in damage to the inner ear, which in turn cause vertigo, often called post-traumatic vertigo. Individuals who have suffered head injuries that led to vertigo usually have symptoms that include headaches, dizziness, balance issues, pain, hearing changes, and sometimes, mental disturbances.
What If The Cause of Vertigo can’t be Identified?
In select cases, doctors are not able to determine what’s causing an individual’s vertigo episodes as the most common causes of vertigo mentioned above, such as BPPV and Meniere’s diseases, aren’t easily identifiable as well. Although not being able to figure out why you have vertigo episodes could be very frustrating, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t be able to treat your vertigo symptoms.
Bottom line, vertigo isn’t something that you could just ignore. Although it’s typically not a result of something life-threatening such as a heart attack or stroke, it’s crucial to know that more serious health problems won’t arise because of it. And fortunately, some medications and techniques could help ease your symptoms.