Ever feel like the room is spinning, after getting up too quickly in the morning?
Typically, dizziness only occurs after intense movement or during motion sickness. But for some people, dizzy spells can come out of nowhere. This, combined with feeling off balance, is referred to as vertigo.
It’s different from other types of dizziness because you don’t have to be moving to experience it (1). Many wonder how to get rid of vertigo, but it isn’t exactly straightforward.
While vertigo spells can come and go, some things can trigger it. For one, getting up too quickly, being nauseous, excess exercise, stress, and lack of sleep can exasperate the condition. Debilitating as it may be, vertigo is a symptom, not a condition in itself.
Oddly enough, some types of vertigo can disappear without conventional treatment (2).
How To Know It’s Vertigo
The most common cause of vertigo is an inner ear problem. Specifically, it’s usually caused by a problem in the balance organs of the inner ear. This is referred to as peripheral vertigo.
Alternately, it can be caused by a dysfunction in the central nervous system. This is called central vertigo.
Vertigo may feel like regular dizziness at first, but it’s usually accompanied by hearing loss, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting or a feeling of fullness in the ear.
Peripheral vertigo occurs when the labyrinth of the inner ear is offset by inflammation, infection, injury or drug toxicity. This can also occur from fluid build up or crystals of calcium carbonate within inner ear fluid.
On the other hand, central vertigo occurs when there’s a disturbance in brainstem and cerebellum. It can also occur when messages going to and from the thalamus aren’t properly transmitted. This may or may not be accompanied by headaches and migraines.
While these are the most common causes, vertigo can occur due to other reasons. These include stroke and transient ischemic attack, cerebellar brain tumor, acoustic neuroma and multiple sclerosis.
Symptoms of vertigo include:
- Being unbalanced
- Being pulled to one direction
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
If you experience any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor right away and consider asking for a formal diagnosis.