Vertigo (dizziness) : Causes, Symptoms & Treatment 2018-07-19T15:55:21+00:00

Vertigo (Dizziness)

What is Vertigo? Vertigo or dizziness is a false sense of motion, spinning or feeling of imbalance. Learn more about its symptoms, causes & treatment.

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Vertigo (Dizziness)

Meaning of Vertigo

The word vertigo is derived from the Latin phrase verto, which means, “to revolve”. Vertigo is a false sense of motion, spinning or feeling of imbalance. Sufferers often call it dizziness, imbalance, light-headedness or “chakkar aana (vertigo meaning in hindi)”.

Often the imbalance is associated with nausea, vomiting or unsteadiness on walking. It may worsen when you move your head. Vertigo should not be mixed up with acrophobia, which is an extreme fear of heights.

Vertigo and dizziness are common complaints presented by patients to doctors of all specialties, and they affect all age groups. It is a fact that 20-40% people are affected by dizziness at some point in time in their life; 15% people have dizziness; 5% have vertigo in any given year; 2.5% of all primary care visitors report dizziness, and 2-3% of emergency visits in the developed world is for vertigo.

But it must be noted that vertigo is not a disease. It is only a symptom of a disorder. Therefore, suppressing the symptom is not the solution. Proper diagnosis of what is causing vertigo/dizziness is possible only when the doctor makes a systematic evaluation. A neuro-otological workup alone will help to find out if a vertigo patient is suffering from disorders like BPPV, Meniere’s Disease, Vestibular Neuritis, Labyrinthitis, Acoustic Neuroma, Otolith Dysfunction, Vestibular Migraine, Central Vestibulopathy or psychogenic disorders.

Different disorders causing vertigo have different presentations and require diverse treatment protocols. A correct diagnosis will enable the doctor to offer the right treatment, which is the only way to give the patient lasting benefit

Symptoms of Dizziness

Patients suffering from persistent or intermittent dizzy spells usually describe their symptoms as though they are

  • Spinning (chakkar in Hindi)

  • Swaying
  • Tilting
  • Feeling unsteady or imbalanced
  • Falling
  • Dizzy

Vertigo patients may also complain of nausea, difficulty in focusing on moving objects, headaches, change in hearing or ringing in the ears, and difficulty in concentration. Their symptoms can come and go and can range from a few seconds to minutes, hours, even days.

Causes, diagnosis & treatment

Differential Diagnosis of Dizziness and its Causes

Vertigo is not a disease in itself. Once the cause of vertigo is diagnosed &  treated, the person can reclaim balance and return to healthy living.

There are various tests to diagnose vertigo and its cause.

In the OPD, the doctor will look for any abnormal eye movements and ascertain that ability to follow objects is normal.The doctor evaluates the involuntary eye-movements (nystagmus) of the patient. The rapid eye movements induced due to head manoeuvres by the doctor may suggest in which ear the problem lies.

NeuroEquilibrium is the leader in using cutting-edge technology in India to conduct proper diagnosis of vertigo and its cause. Advanced Vertigo and Balance Clinics across India use ultra-modern differential dizziness diagnosing devices to evaluate symptoms and severity of dizzy spells in real-time on an innovative assessment platform.

Tests are done on diagnostic devices such as, Videonystagmography (VNG), Electronystagmography (ENG)Craniocorpography (CCG), Subjective Visual Vertical (SVV), computerised Dynamic Visual Acuity (DVA) and  VEMP to identify the cause of the balance disorder in the patient.

The frequency and severity along with the associated symptoms need to be considered for appropriate treatment of each patient.

Treatment for Vertigo

Most people do not believe that their condition of imbalance can be cured. But, here’s a good word- Vertigo is curable.

It is essential to get timely treatment for vertigo, to get back to a healthy life as soon as possible.

Vertigo is only a symptom. Diagnosis of the underlying cause using various diagnostic tests like VNG etc. is essential for correct treatment.

Medications are prescribed as the first line of treatment to control the severity of dizziness and the discomfort that accompanies it, such as nausea, fatigue, anxiety, vomiting, difficulty in focusing, visual disturbance etc.

Often patients with Vertigo are given medicines like Vertin, Stugeron, MeclizineStemetil etc which suppress the symptoms. Taking these medications for the prolonged duration is dangerous. They should not be given for more than 5 days.

Surgery is advised for rare cases of vestibular disorders as inner ear surgeries are complex.

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises and Canalith Repositioning manoeuvres are prescribed for appropriate Vestibular problems.

Vestibular rehabilitation exercises are very useful in gaining balance, normalising visual disturbance and reducing dizziness in a short span of time.

At NeuroEquilibrium’s speciality vertigo clinics, we use virtual reality to make the vestibular rehabilitation therapy effective and provide long-lasting relief. Currently, we are the only one in India to do so. The exercises are designed to cater to various needs of vertigo patients, physically, physiologically and psychologically.

vertigo exercise

Every patient is put on a customised Vestibular rehabilitation Therapy, keeping his condition, severity and other associated problems and medical conditions in view.

Our methods in providing personalised vertigo treatment enable us to map the patient’s improvements efficiently and alter the line of treatment if required. Such regular review of treatment and response is necessary to provide quick and long-lasting relief to vertigo patients.

Canalith Repositioning maneuvers – are done for patients suffering from BPPV.  The type and side of BPPV are diagnosed, and then the recommended repositioning maneuver like Epley manoeuvre, Semont manoeuvre,  Barbeque maneuver etc. is performed. (more info)

Exercises & Home Remedies to Stop Vertigo

Lifestyle modifications and some simple measures may help in reducing your dizziness or vertigo. Always consult your doctor before trying these measures. Some tips  to avoid dizziness include :

  • Avoid sleeping on the side of problem ear
  • Elevate your head with a pillow while sleeping
  • Try to sleep on time
  • Reduce salt and caffeine in your diet
  • Avoid food with preservatives
  • Avoid alcohol and carbonated drinks
  • Do not skip meals/fast
  • Reduce screen time: cell phone, TV and Computer

Read more about Vertigo exercises and home remedies.

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Vertigo is permanently curable, with the right diagnosis.
Get accurate diagnosis of the actual cause of vertigo with our advanced equipments. Cure your vertigo permanently.