Is Vertigo A Disease?
Vertigo is not a diease, but rather a symptom. It’s the feeling that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning.
People generally experience this symptom periodically and they are referred to as attacks. These attacks can be barely noticeable or they can be so severe that you find it difficult to keep your balance and do everyday tasks.
Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds, or they may last much longer. If you have severe vertigo, your symptoms may be constant and last for several days, making normal life very difficult.
What Causes Vertigo Attacks?
Vertigo is often trggered by a change in the position of your head. It can also be triggered by walking or standing up quickly. Some patients report that their attacks occur mostly in the mornings after they have been lyng down for a while.
It is thought that accumulated particles in the inner ear shift with certain movements or changes in position. When the particles shift, the patient experiences this as movement that isn’t actually taking place. The result is vertigo and dizziness.
Do You Know If You Have Vertigo?
People with vertigo typically say they feel like they are:
- Pulled to one direction
Additional symptoms that can occur with vertigo include:
- Feeling nauseated
- Abnormal or jerking eye movements (nystagmus)
- Ringing in the ears or hearing loss
If you experience these symptoms, you likely have vertigo. Keep reading to see how to alleviate vertigo.
What Is The Cause Of Vertigo Dizziness
There are many ideas about what causes vertigo and I have included them in the list below. Please keep in mind that the most common treatment when you visit a hospital’s emergency department with vertigo is the prescription of drugs like antihistamines and benzodiazepines. Not only do these drugs not help, but they can worsen your vertigo.
- Inner ear conditions – vestibular hypofunction, vestibular migraine, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
2. Cardiovascular Problems – irregular heart rhythms, blockages, low blood pressure or other cardiovascular problems
3. Neurological Disorder – Migraine, stroke, multiple scherosis or other neurological problems
4. Endocrine Disorder – Thyroid disorders, diabetes or other endocrine problems
5. Side effects of medication – The list of drugs that may cause vertigo or dizziness is long and includes anti-convulsants, anesthetics, anti-depressants, analgesics, anti-diabetics, contraceptives, anti-inflammatory drugs, cardiovascular drugs, sedatives, tranquillizers, cytotoxic agents, and anti-hypertensive agents.
6. Psychological Problems – Anxiety, panic disorder or other psychological problems
7. Nutritional Deficiency – Low iron or vitamin B12 and other nutritional deficiencies
Causes Of Vertigo In Seniors
The causes of vertigo in older people are many. Age-related degeneration of the inner ears and neck are the key causes of dizziness in older people. Age-related degenerative conditions do not typically resolve with medications. They do, however, respond well to lifestyle changes.
Vertigo is one of the most common symptoms among elderly people with about 25% of people over the age of 72 reporting that they experience imbalance or unsteadiness.
This increased risk for dizziness coupled with the reduced strength of balance and postural muscles result in seniors being more likely to fall than a younger person.
Since falls are the number one cause of hospital admissions and accidental death in older adults, it is important that vertigo is addressed and resolved right away.
Is Vertigo Dangerous?
Vertigo is one of the most common complaints for which people visit emergency departments. It is also one that is not often treated properly.
If you have vertigo, you don’t need to be told how difficult it is to keep your balance and avoid falling when the world feels like it’s spinning.
Sadly, the most common treatment when you visit a hospital’s emergency department with vertigo is the prescription of drugs like antihistamines and benzodiazepines. Not only do these drugs not help, but they can worsen your vertigo.
Many previous studies have shown that people with vertigo are more likely than the general population to fall and break bones, making vertigo quite dangerous.
It is also important to address your vertigo properly and to modify your living space while you do so to remove obvious hazards like loose carpets, loose objects on the floor, and slippery or uneven surfaces.
An interesting discovery was that the prevalence of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, clogged arteries and stroke much higher in the vertigo group than in the control subjects, suggesting that you may want to address these problems with a healthy lifestyle to prevent vertigo.
How To Relieve Vertigo
One of the main frustrations for vertigo sufferers is that the condition often returns even after professional medical treatment.
A new study in the Journal of Neurology shows what makes us more vulnerable to a reoccurrence of vertigo and what we can do to prevent it.
The authors of this study wondered why vertigo tends to reoccur and conducted a search through the published literature to find out.
They found 14 decent-quality studies with 3,060 vertigo sufferers.
From these studies, they concluded that the strongest predictors for vertigo reoccurrence are high blood pressure and and type 2 diabetes. Each of them increasing the risk for reoccurrence by more than two-and-a-half times.
The next in line were osteoporosis, vitamin D deficiency, and high cholesterol. All of which are potentially preventable through sufficient calcium intake, vitamin D supplements or direct sunlight and a good anti-inflammatory and otherwise healthy diet and physical exercise.