What is vertigo ?

Patients have different symptoms of dizziness.

I’m dizzy. I seem to be losing my balance. 
I’m dizzy. It’s like I’m floating. 
I’m dizzy. I feel I’m going to pass out. 
I’m dizzy. The room around me is spinning. (1)

Vertigo is a form of dizziness. 
Vertigo is a false sensation that either self or surrounding is spinning, floating or tumbling down. (2)

Not all dizziness is vertigo. (3) 
Sometimes vertigo is accompanied by nausea and vomiting. (4)

Vertigo presents itself in many ways…

Some patients experience brief spinning episodes, lasting a few seconds. (4, 5, 6) 

Some patients experience less frequent vertigo and attacks are moderate in severity. For some, the vertigo may be severe and frequently affecting daily activities. (6)

Some patients less likely to experience vertigo, yet the attacks are moderate in severity. 

A majority of patients experience a vertigo attack that only lasts for few seconds, but however brief the spinning, shaking, or tumbling down sensation, it can still be terrifying. (6)

Majority of the patients experience a vertigo attack that only lasts for a few seconds. However, the spinning, shaking, or tumbling down sensation can still be terrifying.

What causes vertigo?

Most often, vertigo is caused by disturbances in the inner ear. (4)

Vertigo is commonly caused by disturbance in the inner ear

If vertigo arises from a disorder of the ear and other structures around it, it is called peripheral vertigo. If, however, the sensation arises from a disorder in the brain and other structures around it, it is called central vertigo. 

If vertigo arise from any ear disorders, it is called peripheral vertigo. However, if it arises from any brain disorders, it is called central vertigo. 

It is important to consult your doctor. The doctor will determine if one has peripheral or central vertigo. (4)

The Inner Ear

Three semi-circular canals, with fluid and hair cells inside, enable us to maintain balance. Two sacs with fluid and mini-stones orient us if we are moving up or down and if we are speeding up or slowing down. (1, 7)

The snail-looking part of the inner ear enables us to hear. The three semi-circular canals and the two sacs called utricle and saccule, together are called the vestibular system. Diseases of the vestibular system leads to the sensation of spinning called vertigo. (1, 7)

Vertigo is a symptom of an underlying condition.

BPPV

“Each time I turn my head to the right, the surrounding spins for a few seconds, it can be a terrifying experience.”

Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of vertigo. (6, 8, 9)

Meniere’s disease

“I was shaken violently and there were ringing sounds in my ear. I’m glad I’m not alone in this journey with the illness.”

During the early stage of Meniere’s disease, vertigo attack is described as spontaneous, violent and may be accompanied by hearing loss, ear fullness or ringing of the ear. Symptoms may last for 20 mins to 24 hours. (6, 10, 11)

Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of vertigo. 

Vestibular neuritis

“Two weeks ago, I had a viral infection. I threw up and the world was spinning. Good thing I recovered.” (12, 13)

Sudden onset of very frightening severe vertigo. Many people are rushed to the emergency room. Recovery from vertigo may last for several weeks. (13)

Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of vertigo

Vestibular migraine

Vestibular Migraine involving blood vessels of the brain may also cause vertigo.  

“I have throbbing headache on the left part of my head. I also feel dizzy.” (6, 14)

Although other causes of central vertigo are rare, it may be serious and need immediate medical attention. 

Consult your doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of vertigo.