Are you experiencing a spinning movement recently? Are you wondering if this is just a case of dizziness? The presence of a spinning or whirling movement is actually called vertigo, which is a subtype of dizziness. Vertigo involves a feeling of movement, despite being stationary.

Vertigo as part of dizziness is actually the top complaint in the medicine field. It is generally experienced by 30% of the adult population, but it may also affect people at any age. Despite this, the incidence and severity of vertigo usually increase with age making vertigo not a primary concern in children. Vertigo accounts for up to 3% of visit to the emergency departments. Vertigo also more commonly affects women than men.

Vertigo has various types such as:

• Objective vertigo
Objective vertigo involves the patient’s sensation that objects or the environment around him is moving.

• Subjective vertigo
This type of vertigo involves the feeling that the person is the one moving rather than the environment.

• Pseudovertigo
This involves feeling of rotation inside the patient’s head.

Vertigo can also be classified into peripheral or central. Peripheral vertigo involves direct disruption in the vestibular system such as damage in the inner ear while central vertigo involves a disruption in the central nervous system causing problems in balance. Central vertigo results from the disruption in the nerve impulses going to and from the otic nerve and the brain.

What Causes of Vertigo?

Vertigo can be caused by a lot of factors; however, the symptoms usually arise as a result of asymmetric dysfunction in the inner ear particularly in the vestibular system. Common causes include:

• Concussion or the jarring of the head affecting the inner ear
• Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
• Vestibular migraine
• Vestibular neuritis
• Meniere’s disease

Aside from these conditions affecting the inner ear, excessive alcohol consumption may also cause vertigo. Children who spin repetitively as part of their childhood games may also suffer from temporary changes in the fluid in the vestibular system causing transient vertigo.

How do You Know that I Have Vertigo?

Vertigo can be determined through the presence of signs and symptoms. However, these symptoms may not be necessarily present at the same time. The classical symptom is the presence of feeling of spinning, despite being stationary. Other associated symptoms include:

• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Unsteadiness
• Diaphoresis or excessive perspiration

More serious vertigo involving central affectation may even occur along with difficulty speaking blurred vision, loss of hearing and loss of consciousness. Vertigo symptoms can occur suddenly or gradually over a period of time. Symptoms can persist longer than 24 hours.

How Do You Manage Vertigo?

The main treatment of vertigo generally depends on the main cause of the condition. Supportive treatments may require antihistamines and anticholinergics to reduce the symptoms of vertigo such as dizziness and nausea. A gradual change in position may help prevent vertigo for those with positional problems. It is also necessary to stay on bed if suffering from a swirling feeling to prevent possible falls and other injuries.