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Important vertigo symptoms

Vertigo is a condition where the individual feels the sensation of spinning or dizziness. It is not to be confused with light headedness. When vertigo symptoms manifest, the individual feels that the world is turning and may lose balance. Find out more about this condition so that you can seek help.

Understanding vertigo

Vertigo is a medical disorder that has two types. One is peripheral vertigo and the other condition is known as central vertigo. Each condition might have different vertigo symptoms.

Peripheral vertigo is due to several factors such as head injury, inflammation of the (vestibular) nerve, labyrinthitis (swelling of the inner ear), Meniere's disease (ear disorder affecting balance) and side effects of medication such as antibiotics or diuretics. When you have peripheral vertigo you will suffer from the following:

  • spinning and moving sensation that can result to nausea and vomiting
  • ringing in the ears
  • loss of balance
  • dizziness
  • difficulties in focusing using the eyes
  • hearing loss

On the other hand, central vertigo may be caused by multiple sclerosis, seizures, strokes, tumors, migraine or a disease of the blood vessel. Taking aspirin, alcohol and anticonvulsants can also cause central vertigo.

Vertigo symptoms include

  • facial paralysis
  • vision of seeing double images
  • impaired or slurred speech
  • problems with swallowing
  • eye movement issues

Diagnosis and tests

The doctor will usually test your balance whilst walking, eye coordination, hearing ability and weakness. If you have difficulties keeping your balance or have involuntary eye movements, then the doctor will suspect vertigo issues. Additional tests may also be ordered such as blood works, EEG, brain scan, caloric stimulation, lumbar puncture and MRI.

Treatment

Treatment of vertigo symptoms may include medications, surgery, and physical therapy. The doctor may also perform the Epley manoeuvre to reset the balance organ. Vertigo can affect lifestyles so it is best to seek medical attention for a condition that does not improve. In addition, when episodes occur, avoid operating heavy machinery, sit down or lie still and avoid bright lights and sudden position changes.

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