Problems affecting the equilibrium system often cause difficulties related to dizziness and imbalance. The term dizziness can mean many things. Patients often describe symptoms including lightheadedness, blurred vision, a feeling of faintness, spinning (vertigo), weakness and general unsteadiness. Individuals with imbalance often have a history or fear of falls. Imbalance is often made worse when walking in the dark or on uneven surfaces. Patients with equilibrium disorders can experience a wide variety of less common symptoms as well.
Are you living with dizziness or balance problems?
Approximately one-third of those between 65 to 75 years of age report that dizziness and imbalance affect the quality of their lives. With modern medical advancements, much can be done to help. In fact, 90 percent of the time, these disorders can be successfully treated with proper diagnosis. If you are experiencing dizziness or imbalance, you may not need to “learn to live
Causes and Concerns
There are two types of vertigo to consider: subjective vertigo and objective vertigo. With subjective vertigo, you feel like you are actually moving. In some cases, you may actually be swaying slightly. If you have objective vertigo, you feel like your surroundings are moving. Causes of vertigo include:
- A migraine
- Inner ear infection (viral or bacterial)
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) –This is caused by a sudden movement of your head (if you were to turn your head quickly to one side to look at something).
- Meniere's disease – This condition causes objective vertigo, hearing loss, pressure in the ear, and tinnitus. Meniere’s disease can come and go, and you may experience symptoms for several weeks or months.
- Acoustic neuroma –This is a tumor in the nerve tissue that causes vertigo. In addition, you will experience tinnitus (ring in the ears) and hearing loss with acoustic neuroma. Once the tumor is removed, the vertigo will subside.
- Neck injuries and head trauma – Once the neck or head injury has healed, the vertigo will disappear.
- ·Cerebellar hemorrhage – This is by far the most serious condition that can cause vertigo. A cerebral hemorrhage is a life-threatening condition, and these occur during an accident (car accident, skiing accident, falls where you land on your head, or hitting your head.)
Symptoms and Signs
There are many symptoms and signs that can accompany vertigo. If you or someone you love has any of these, you should consider calling for an appointment with one of our competent ear specialists. Symptoms and signs that are concerning include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nasal congestion and drainage>
- Ringing in the ears
- Hearing Loss
- Frequent falls
Solutions and Options
Vertigo that is caused by cerebellar hemorrhage is a medical emergency, so you should seek healthcare immediately. If the vertigo is caused by an infection, then the doctor can give you oral or IV antibiotics. For other causes of vertigo, there are a variety of solutions and options to consider. The treatment depends on the cause.
With the exception of the cerebellar hemorrhage, most cases of vertigo are easily treated. If you or someone you love is experiencing vertigo, call today and make an appointment with Dr. Stark. Let us help you find a solution to your symptoms.