Identifying and Treating Vertigo
Anyone who has vertigo knows just how difficult it can make their life. With the constant moving and spinning, you are likely to feel like the surroundings are in constant motion even though they aren’t. Vertigo is often described as a condition where you feel dizzy. However, it is not the same as being light-headed. Simple movements can be just as intense for someone who is suffering from vertigo. Therefore, the condition affects your everyday life.
There are two main kinds of vertigo which include central vertigo and peripheral vertigo. Peripheral vertigo results from the abnormal functioning of the vestibular nerve or the inner ear. Central vertigo occurs when there is a glitch in the brain.
Symptoms of Vertigo
If you think that you or your loved one has vertigo, you should be on the lookout for the following signs.
- Balancing problems
- Vomiting or nausea
- Ringing in the ear (tinnitus)
- Hearing loss in one ear
- Problems focusing the eyes
- Feeling like you are spinning or moving
Anyone who has central vertigo may experience the following symptoms:
- Weak limbs
- Double vision
- Slurred speech
- Facial paralysis
- Difficulty swallowing
- Eye movement difficulties
It is important to keep in mind that vertigo isn’t a disease. It is a symptom of another condition. If you’re experiencing symptoms of vertigo, speak with your primary healthcare physician. They will help identify the underlying cause of vertigo in order to help alleviate the symptoms. There are an array of issues that can result in vertigo, such as labyrinthitis and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
How Is Vertigo Diagnosed?
When it comes to diagnosing vertigo, the process isn’t straightforward. It can be rather tricky to find out why someone is feeling dizzy. Firstly, your doctor will aim to establish if you are experiencing vertigo or not. They will ask you questions about your symptoms, as well as your medical and family history. In some cases, they may carry out a physical exam.
One simple test that may be performed involves you moving quickly from a sitting to a lying position. This helps check your balance, but can also trigger symptoms of vertigo.
Other tests may include:
- Fukuda-Unterberger’s test: You’ll be asked to march in place for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean to one side, it could mean that you have a problem with your inner ear labyrinth. This could result in vertigo.
- Romberg’s test: For this assessment, you’ll be asked to close your eyes while standing with your feet together and your arms to your side. If you feel unbalanced or unsteady, it could mean that you have an issue with your central nervous system.
- Head impulse test: For this test, your provider will gently move your head to each side while you focus on a stationary target (for example a spot on the wall or your provider’s nose). The clinician will be checking to see how the inner ear balance system is working to help control your eye movements while your head is in motion.
- Vestibular test battery: This includes several different tests to help identify an inner ear problem. Goggles are placed over the eyes to monitor eye movement responses while moving your eyes to follow a target, moving your head and body, and even after warm and cool water are put into the ear canal. (Source)
Treatment for Vertigo
Vertigo treatment options will depend on the underlying cause. In many cases, people with vertigo will find that the symptoms disappear when the underlying cause is addressed. For example, in cases where an infection has caused the vertigo, your healthcare provider may prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection.
In some cases, your healthcare provider may recommend exercises in order to treat vertigo symptoms, various treatment options are available. One such option is known as the Epley maneuver which involves exercising for repositioning the calcium crystals in the inner ear. It’s important that you work with your primary healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment plan.
Trust the Experts at Regional Hearing and Balance Center
Do you have any more questions? The hearing care professionals at Regional Hearing and Balance Center would be happy to help. Contact us today to request your appointment with our hearing care professionals.