Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment


Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Vertigo is a sensation that makes you feel like you're moving or spinning, even when you're not. It can be quite different from feeling light-headed. Simple actions can become surprisingly intense if you have Vertigo, affecting your daily life. The symptoms you experience depend on the type of Vertigo and its underlying cause. Quick movements or changes in position, like turning in bed or looking up, may worsen the feeling. 

Vertigo can be terrifying as it greatly increases the risk of falls and injuries. While Vertigo can be distressing, it doesn't necessarily indicate a severe medical issue. If you want to know more about Vertigo in detail, keep reading as we’ll explain what is vertigo, vertigo symptoms, vertigo causes, vertigo treatment, and more.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is a dizzying sensation of spinning or unsteadiness. It often feels like you or things around you are moving when they're not. A vertigo attack is a sudden and intense episode of Vertigo, causing disorientation, nausea, and sometimes a loss of balance. These attacks can be brief or last for a while, and they can be triggered by various underlying conditions like inner ear issues, infections, or even head injuries. 

Types of Vertigo 

The symptoms, reasons, and treatment methods of Vertigo are different. Depending on these factors, there are four types of vertigo, as discussed below.

1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is a very common type of Vertigo, which occurs when the small calcium crystals in the inner ear get dislodged, affecting your sense of balance. This type of Vertigo is often triggered by rapid head movements like rolling over in bed or tilting your head back. People with BPPV experience brief but intense spinning sensations.

2. Meniere's Disease

Meniere's disease is characterised by recurring episodes of Vertigo, accompanied by symptoms like tinnitus (ringing sensation in the ears) and hearing loss. It's believed to be caused by an accumulation of fluid in the inner ear. During Meniere's episodes, individuals may experience severe dizziness, hearing difficulties, and ear ringing.

3. Vestibular Neuritis/Labyrinthitis

Vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis affect the inner ear. Vestibular neuritis impacts the vestibular nerve. On the other hand, labyrinthitis affects both the vestibular nerve and the cochlear nerve responsible for hearing. Viral infections often cause these conditions, leading to sudden and severe Vertigo. In labyrinthitis, hearing loss may also occur.

4. Central Vertigo

Central Vertigo differs from other types as it originates in the brain. This can be due to more serious conditions such as strokes or tumours. Symptoms of central Vertigo are typically persistent and can include neurological issues like weakness or difficulty speaking.

Vertigo Symptoms

A change in the position of your head often initiates Vertigo. Individuals experiencing vertigo frequently describe it as a sensation of:

  • Spinning
  • Tilting
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swaying
  • Unsteadiness
  • Being pulled in one direction
  • Abnormal or jerky eye movements (known as nystagmus)
  • Headaches
  • Perspiration
  • Ringing in the ears or hearing impairment
  • Dizziness
  • Problems with balance
  • Hearing loss in one or both ears
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Headaches
  • Motion sickness
  • A sensation of ear fullness
  • Nystagmus (an eye condition causing rapid and uncontrollable side-to-side eye movements).

What are the Causes of Vertigo?

Vertigo can be triggered by various underlying conditions, typically involving an imbalance in the inner ear or issues with the central nervous system (CNS). Some of the conditions that can lead to Vertigo are:

1. Labyrinthitis: Labyrinthitis arises when an infection causes inflammation in the inner ear's labyrinth, home to the vestibulocochlear nerve.

2. Vestibular Neuritis: Vestibular neuritis is similar to labyrinthitis, as it results from an infection causing inflammation of the vestibular nerve. Unlike labyrinthitis, it doesn't affect hearing.

3. Cholesteatoma: Cholesteatoma is a non-cancerous skin growth that forms in the middle part of the ear, often due to recurrent infections.

4. Meniere's Disease: Meniere's disease involves a build-up of fluid in the inner ear, causing recurrent vertigo attacks, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss.

5. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): BPPV is attributed to dislodged calcium carbonate crystals within the otolith organs of the ear. When these crystals enter the semi-circular canals and touch sensory hair cells during movement, the brain receives incorrect positioning information, resulting in short episodes of Vertigo.

6. Other Factors: Vertigo can also be associated with conditions and situations such as:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Head injuries
  • Ear surgeries
  • Perilymphatic fistula (fluid leakage from the inner ear to the middle ear)
  • Shingles affecting the ear (herpes zoster oticus)
  • Otosclerosis (a middle ear bone growth issue leading to hearing loss)
  • Syphilis
  • Ataxia (muscle weakness)
  • Stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke)
  • Cerebellar or brain stem diseases
  • Acoustic neuroma (benign growth near the inner ear's vestibulocochlear nerve)
  • Multiple sclerosis.

Diagnosis of Vertigo

Healthcare professionals may employ several diagnostic tests to identify Vertigo's presence and underlying causes. These diagnostic tests can encompass the following:

1. Fukuda-Unterberger Test: During this test, your doctor will instruct you to walk in one place for a few seconds, keeping your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean to one side, it may suggest an issue with your inner ear labyrinth, potentially leading to Vertigo.

2. Romberg's Test: In this evaluation, your doctor will ask you to stand with your feet together, arms by your sides, and your eyes closed. If you experience a sensation of unsteadiness or imbalance, it could indicate an issue with your central nervous system.

3. Head Impulse Test: During this test, your healthcare provider will gently move your head from side to side while you focus your gaze on a fixed target, such as a spot on the wall or your provider's nose. They will closely observe your eye movements, which can provide insights into the balance system of your inner ear and whether there's an issue causing Vertigo.

4. Vestibular Test Battery: This battery of tests assesses the vestibular part of your inner ear system. It helps differentiate whether your vertigo symptoms stem from an inner ear problem or an issue within the brain.

5. Imaging Tests: These may encompass CT (computed tomography) scans or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) to provide detailed images of your head and inner ear, helping to identify structural issues.

Vertigo Treatment

The approach to treating Vertigo depends on its underlying cause. Health experts suggest various vertigo treatments, which may include:

1. Repositioning Maneuvers: These manoeuvres are designed to reposition displaced crystals or particles in the inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional Vertigo (BPPV).

2. Vertigo Medication: Medications may be prescribed to address specific vertigo causes. Some vertigo medicine are Meclizine (Antiemetic), Diazepam (Vestibular Suppressant), Diphenhydramine (Antihistamine), Amoxicillin or Ciprofloxacin (Antibiotics) and Prednisone (Corticosteroid).

3. Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (Vertigo Exercises): This therapy involves various Vertigo exercises to improve balance and reduce vertigo symptoms.

4. Surgery: Surgical intervention may be recommended in cases where structural issues or other medical conditions are the root Vertigo causes, and other treatments have proven ineffective.

How Long Does Vertigo Last?

The duration of Vertigo can vary depending on the underlying cause.

• Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): Symptoms often appear briefly, typically lasting less than a minute and may come and go.

• Meniere's Disease: In cases of Meniere's disease, vertigo episodes may endure for over 20 minutes.

• Migraine-Induced Vertigo: Vertigo associated with migraines can persist for minutes to hours.

To Conclude

Vertigo is the disorienting sensation of spinning or unsteadiness. Managing Vertigo effectively is super important for maintaining the quality of life. Vertigo is unpredictable, so it's always safe to take proactive steps for your health. Investing in health insurance is one of them. It offers financial support, ensuring that you can access the necessary medical care without the added worry of high medical costs. With Care Health Insurance you can secure the health of your family and protect your savings at the same time.

>> Read More: Brain Hemorrhage: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


1. The above information is for reference purposes only: Policy Assurance and Claims at the underwriter's discretion.

2. All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.


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