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What is Vertigo?

Updated: Oct 11, 2021

Vertigo is a sensation of rotation or dizziness, as though the person is spinning or the space around them is moving. Vertigo is an indication of a serious underlying condition that requires medical management or vestibular rehabilitation. Various conditions can lead to vertigo, which usually involves either an imbalance in the inner ear or a problem with the central nervous system (CNS). Loss of balance, sense of spinning or whirling are an indication that you may be experiencing vertigo. Vertigo could be present even when someone is perfectly still. Movement of the head or body, like rolling over in bed, can escalate or worsen the symptoms. Many people experience associated nausea or vomiting. Vertigo is most often caused by a dysfunction in the vestibular system. Vertigo could make daily activities challenging making the person feel anxious and frustrated.

There are two types of vertigo, peripheral vertigo and central vertigo. Peripheral vertigo occurs as the result of a problem with the vestibular system, which includes the inner ear and vestibular nerve that controls balance. Central vertigo is the result of a problem related to the brain.

What causes vertigo?

Inner ear, responsible for hearing is also responsible for the balance in our body. Therefore, inner ear issues could cause vertigo.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): Vertigo induced due to movement of the head. A patient would complain that they feel a sense of rotation when there is some movement like getting up from the bed, rolling in the bed or getting up from a rest position. This is a condition seen in 2%-3% of the elderly patients.

Vestibular Neuronitis: inflammation of the vestibular nerve

Labyrinthitis : Labyrinthitis is the inflammation of part of the inner ear called the labyrinth. It is usually associated with hearing loss

Meniere’s disease: A condition of the inner ear where there is a fluid imbalance causing hearing loss, ringing in the ear and aural fullness.

Accoustic Neuroma: Non-Cancerous tumour of the acoustic nerve.

Other causes include:

· Stroke

· Multiple sclerosis

· Old age

· Gender, Females are more prone to the condition

How to diagnose?

Case History:

Vertigo should be first evaluated by taking a proper history of the patient presenting with it. Details regarding the type of motion, frequency and duration of occurrence etc are noted. A thorough case history helps in the proper diagnosis of the condition helping in the accurate management strategies.

Physical Examinination:

An ENT doctor would physically examine the ear canal and eye movements to get a better understanding of the condition

Audiological Evaulation:

Hearing test is conducted by an Audiologist who assess the hearing and middle ear pressure to rule out any pathology.

Videonystagmography (VNG):

A VNG test ay be required in these individuals. It measures a type of involuntary movement of the eye called Nystagmus. These movements indicate the movement of the inner ear fluid suggesting any abnormalities, if any.

MRI scans

In some people with vertigo especially in particular those who also have hearing loss, doctors may recommend an MRI scan to obtain a closer look at the inner ear and surrounding structures.

At Bangalore Hearing & Implant Institute, A team of Audiologist and ENTs provide the management options for persons experiencing vertigo. For any information connect with us through Ph: +91 6366888883

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