Vertigo is a condition manifesting through dizziness and the sensation that the world around your is spinning even though this is not happening. Usually, this phenomenon stems from some kind of disorders affecting the balance mechanisms located in your inner ear.
Commonly, people mistake vertigo for fear of heights. However, the two phenomena are not the same since fear of heights needs to involve the sufferer looking down from a high place. On the other hand, vertigo can strike a person anytime any place, lasting for a short while or a longer period of time.
Is Vertigo Dangerous?
Basically, vertigo is not considered to be a serious health problem. However, people who experience vertigo frequently and suffer from it for a long time, should seek medical assistance since the problem may be caused by another underlying condition. For example, Ménière's disease, being a very rare condition which affects the inner ear, can be one of the possible triggers of recurrent vertigo.
Signs of Vertigo
As it was mentioned above, vertigo manifests through perceiving the world around you to be spinning vertically and horizontally. The feeling itself may range from mild, annoying sensation to severe, uncontrollable problem, affecting one's daily life and existence significantly.
Along with the spinning and moving sensation, a person may lose his/her balance, feel nauseous, vomit or feel light-headed. Walking and standing up are both actions very hard to accomplish once you suffer from vertigo.
Reasons behind Vertigo
Labyrintitis is a condition which can lead to vertigo. Namely, this illness manifests through an inflammation like cold or flu affecting one's vestibular labyrinth, which is a fluid-filled part of the ear, located behind the eardrum. Also, bacteria of different sources may lead to labyrintitis.
If vertigo goes hand-in-hand with discomfort and imbalance, as well as tinnitus, there is a great chance that a condition called vestibular neuritis is behind it.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is yet another potential cause, taking place once a person turns his/her head while lying in bed, leading to nausea, vomiting and recurrent attacks of vertigo taking place for about 20 seconds per occurrence. Tinnitus is often not present with this condition.
This phenomenon takes place due to crystals of calcium carbonate, being formed on the lining of the vestibular labyrinth. These crystals get loose and affect our sensations of balance, sending strange messages to our brain, ending in vertigo. The elderly are a risk group when it comes to BPPV. Nevertheless, people who have experienced head injury or ear infections can also suffer from it.
Finally, Ménière’s disease is another possible condition leading to vertigo.
Vertigo may be prevented by medications like betahistine. Also, psychotherapy may work, helping you cope better with the confusing signals your brain sends to your body. As for you and your lifestyle, make sure you sleep with your head raised on the pillow, get out of bed slowly and gradually, avoid bending and stretching too much and move your head slowly and carefully.