Vertigo is a common condition often caused by problems with the inner ear. Vertigo causes a sense of the environment spinning around you, particularly when changing position. Vertigo symptoms include a feeling of swaying, spinning or imbalance. Other symptoms of vertigo can include:
- Ringing in the ears
Vertigo can be made worse by quick head movements, bending over and getting up from lying down.
Many cases of vertigo can be successfully treated with a qualified physiotherapist. Physio for vertigo involves manoeuvres to treat the inner ear, treatment of the neck and balance training to improve function of the vestibular system using specific exercises. The treatment depends on the type of vertigo you have. Your physiotherapist can assess and diagnose your vertigo or dizziness problem.
Here are 10 facts about vertigo:
- Vertigo is Often Caused by an Inner Ear Problem
The most common cause of vertigo is problems with the inner ear, such as infections and diseases including benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease and vestibular neuritis.
- Low Vitamin B12 Can Cause Dizziness
Vitamin B12 is essential for many functions in the body. Vitamin B12 plays a role in energy production, metabolism and is vital in the normal functioning of the nervous system. Deficiency of this vitamin can lead to low blood pressure and may cause dizziness.
- Stress and Tension May Cause Dizziness
Stress, tension and fatigue can cause the brain stem to function less efficiently. This reduces automatic reflex control of balance and increases the activity of the cerebral cortex to help maintain balance by controlling voluntary muscle movements. As a result, light-headedness and dizziness may occur.
- Anxiety Can Cause Dizziness
Dizziness is a common symptom of anxiety. Dizziness that is caused by anxiety is often described as ‘swimming’, or ‘floating’ in nature or a feeling of light-headedness. The motion sensation is often felt internally rather than externally. Occasionally there is a feeling of swaying while standing still.
- Migraines Can Cause Vertigo
Many people who suffer from migraines also experience dizziness. Migraine associated vertigo may occur before the headache or even when there is no pain.
- Dizziness May Be a Symptom of Heart Disease
A significant drop in blood pressure can result in dizziness and feeling faint. Poor circulation due to heart conditions can also cause dizziness due to inadequate blood flow to the brain and inner ear.
- Certain Medications Can Cause Dizziness
There are many different medications including prescription and over the counter medications that can cause temporary dizziness.
- Dizziness May Be a Sign of Dehydration
Dehydration is a common cause of dizziness. You can also feel dizzy from overheating when not consuming enough fluids.
- Osteoarthritis May Cause Dizziness
Osteoarthritis can cause narrowing of the opening in the neck vertebrae where blood vessels pass through. If these become restricted it can cause inadequate blood to flow to the base of the brain where balance information is controlled. This may result in symptoms of dizziness. Interestingly, even in the absence of osteoarthritic change a stiff neck can cause what is known as cervicogenic dizziness.
- Older Adults Experience Vertigo More Often
Older adults are more likely to suffer from certain conditions that cause dizziness and a sense of imbalance. They are also more likely to be taking medications with side effects such as vertigo and dizziness.