Many people equate vertigo with dizziness, but feeling dizzy isn’t the only sign of this troubling symptom. Vertigo causes you to perceive that you or the world around you is spinning — even when you’re standing or sitting still.
Dizziness, on the other hand, is a sensation that can cause a range of sensations, like feeling light-headed or faint. Yet both vertigo and dizziness are symptoms, not health conditions, and are caused by an underlying concern.
Experienced ENT providers, Charles Greene, MD, PhD, and Tara Condrey, PA-C, at Jacksonville ENT Surgery in Lake City and Jacksonville, Florida, specialize in uncovering the underlying cause of your vertigo and giving you the care you need to feel better. The right vertigo treatment depends on the type of vertigo you’re experiencing.
If you’re worried you have vertigo, keep reading to learn more about it, the signs you may be experiencing it, and how we can help you find relief.
Why do people experience vertigo?
Vertigo creates the sense that you or everything around you is moving or spinning. If you have vertigo, you may only experience it when you move your head a certain way, such as tilting your head back or tipping it from side to side. The sensation may last for minutes, hours, or months, depending on the underlying cause.
The underlying causes of vertigo vary based on the type of vertigo you have:
Peripheral vertigo develops from issues with the inner ear or the nerve associated with it. Some of the most common causes of peripheral vertigo include inner ear infections, irritated or inflamed nerves, excess fluid (Meniere’s disease), and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or calcium crystals in the inner ear tubes.
Central vertigo, on the other hand, develops because of a condition or injury that affects your brain. Most of the time, the issue impacts the parts of your brainstem associated with movement and your central nervous system (CNS). Migraines, strokes, concussions, multiple sclerosis (MS), and even some medications can lead to central vertigo.
What are six signs of vertigo?
Vertigo varies from person to person and may be mild, moderate, or severe enough to trigger nausea or vomiting, depending on the root cause. The sensations you experience may worsen when you stand, walk, or move your head.
The types of symptoms you experience with vertigo depend on whether you have peripheral or central vertigo. However, there are some common signs to watch for, including:
- Loss of balance
- Ringing in your ears
- Involuntary eye movements
- Nausea and/or vomiting
Other signs of vertigo include increased sweating, sensations of spinning, floating, or tilting, ear pressure or pain, and feeling “out of it” or spacey.
Do vertigo treatments exist?
Yes! Your Jacksonville ENT Surgery provider develops a vertigo treatment plan based on an evaluation of the underlying cause, your medical history, the severity of your symptoms, and the results of a videonystagmography caloric test, which checks how your ear and eyes respond to each other.
Sometimes vertigo resolves on its own without medical intervention. Other times, your provider may recommend one or more vertigo treatments, including:
- Epley maneuver for BPPV
- Medication to alleviate symptoms
- Medication to minimize inner ear activity
- Balance therapy or vestibular rehabilitation
- Lifestyle changes to avoid stroke
Your provider also discusses how to reduce your risk of falling so you can prevent injury. In severe cases where other treatments don’t provide relief, your provider may recommend surgery.
Learn more about vertigo and your treatment options by contacting the vertigo specialists at Jacksonville ENT Surgery. You can schedule an appointment online or by calling our Lake City, Florida, office or one of our three Jacksonville offices.