Have you ever been walking down the street or sitting at work and suddenly felt as if you were on a ride at the fair? If so, you may have experienced vertigo. Vertigo is a type of dizziness known for causing you to feel as if you or the world around you is spinning. The feeling can hit suddenly and go away just as fast, or it may linger for hours or even days. What other symptoms might you experience along with vertigo?
- Nausea and vomiting
- Double vision
- A racing heartbeat
- Feeling off balance or like you are being pulled in one direction
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements called nystagmus
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
According to Dr. Marlan Hansen, an associate professor of otolaryngology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, dizziness is one of the main reasons the elderly go to the emergency room. However, vertigo is not always the root cause. He has been treating disorders of the ear, nose, and throat for over 12 years, and he notes that most people referred to him have been misdiagnosed.
Vertigo Is a Symptom, Not a Diagnosis
Vertigo is usually a symptom of another condition going on. It can be due to a number of different things. Here are a few of the most common ones:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): The most common vestibular disorder, this happens when calcium builds up in the canals of the inner ear and break off. When these small crystals move to where they do not belong, they can cause the sensation motion. That signal is sent to the brain leading to the feeling of vertigo. It is most often related to trauma to your head or head position.
- Vestibular neuritis: This can be due to an inner ear infection causing inflammation to develop around the nerves that help the body sense balance. Vertigo can last for a day or more and be very severe. It can sometimes involve a loss of hearing. The Cleveland Clinic reports that 95 percent of patients make a full recovery and are never bothered with it again.
- Meniere’s disease: This is caused by the buildup of fluid in the inner ear that leads to pressure. It can also include tinnitus, hearing loss, and nausea and vomiting.
- Head or brain injuries: A common cause of vertigo.
- Labyrinthitis: Beginning with severe vertigo, this condition is associated with nausea, vomiting, and feeling off balance. It is thought to be caused by a viral infection of the inner ear, although the exact cause remains unknown. You may have a feeling of fullness in the ear or tinnitus along with balance issues.
- Vestibular migraines: Migraines and vertigo often go hand in hand. The cause of this is unknown but theories connect it with the stimulation of the trigeminal nerve that leads to nystagmus. These migraines occur more often in women.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
Triggers for Vertigo
The underlying cause of vertigo has not been established. However, we can see certain things that may bring it about. It is important to be aware of these things so as to avoid complications with vertigo.
- Motion sickness: You may experience vertigo if you have been on a cruise or even a short boat ride. It can take a couple of days for the rocking sensation to completely go away.
- Dehydration: Just slight dehydration is often responsible for the spinning feeling of vertigo.
- Head position: As with the above-mentioned BPPV, changing your head position or moving suddenly can often bring on an attack of vertigo.
- Medication side effects: Many medications list vertigo as a potential side effect. This can be especially true if the dose given is high. It is suggested to start at as low a dose as possible and slowly increase under your doctor’s care.
- Migraines: As mentioned above, migraines are often associated with vertigo.
- Being extremely tired
- Foods that have a lot of sugar or salt
- Caffeine or alcohol
- Sinus or viral infections
- Prolonged bed rest
It is recommended that you keep track of whatever symptoms you are experiencing that go along with your vertigo. You also want to keep a record of what you were doing each time the vertigo hit. This can help you to rule out, as well as pinpoint, what your specific triggers may be. Most episodes of vertigo are disturbing yet harmless. However, if it begins to interfere with your daily routine or happens more and more often, then it is a good idea to consult your family physician.
Finding Natural Help for Persistent Vertigo
If you are having chronic bouts of vertigo that are not an indication of any underlying condition, it may be time for you to make a trip to the nearest upper cervical chiropractor. Here at Haan Family Chiropractic, we understand the vital relationship the bones of the upper neck have with the way the balance system operates. If either the C1 or C2 vertebra is out of alignment, it can put pressure on the brainstem and cause it to send improper signals to the brain about the location of the body. Therefore, if the brainstem sends a signal that the body is in motion when it is not, vertigo can follow.
We use a gentle method that is designed to naturally assist the bones to move back into place without force. We do not have to resort to cracking the neck or spine to get positive results. And, our results last longer and need less follow up care long term. Many of our patients report seeing improvement in their vertigo in a short amount of time.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Haan call 515-597-4600 or just click the button below.
If you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.