Vertigo can be any level of dizziness, from mild disorientation to an extreme spinning or tipping sensation. Vertigo can make daily life very hard to navigate as the patient has difficulty feeling a sense of control, may be nauseated or even unable to stand.
What Is Vertigo?
There are two types of vertigo: central and peripheral. Central vertigo is caused by problems in the brain or the spine while peripheral vertigo stems from damage to the inner ear. This damage results in the feeling of dizziness or spinning and disorientation.
What Causes Vertigo?
When the patient experiences some form of trauma that causes the inner ear to lose its place in the ear canal, tiny crystals or stones will begin to form in the canal. These stones cause the tiny hairs in the inner ear to become agitated and lead to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV.
Vertigo can also be an association with hearing loss and/or tinnitus and is the result of the rise of fluid in the inner ear.
Unfortunately, this excess fluid does not have a clear cause. Other causes of vertigo can include head injury, damage to the inner ear, severe migraines, and tension headaches, poorly aligned vertebrae, or reduced blood flow to the brain.
Some antidepressants, blood pressure medications, aspirin or anti-seizure medications may cause vertigo as a side effect. If you have high blood pressure, if you smoke or have heart disease or diabetes you are at a higher risk of developing vertigo.
While dizziness is the primary symptom, it is not the only one. Other symptoms include bad or blurry vision, difficulty hearing, trouble focusing, an inability to keep your balance, and a ringing in the ears. The patient may also experience nausea, double vision and a general fatigue that lasts all day.
How Is Vertigo Treated?
Chiropractic treatment for the patient with vertigo begins with a complete exam to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms. It may take a course of several treatments before the nervous system is completely stable and the vertigo is cured.
The doctor may employ the Epley Maneuver to clear debris, such as tiny crystals, from deep inside the inner ear and are responsible for the loss of balance.
If vertigo has been caused by an ear infection or general inflammation, the patient may need antibiotics, steroids, or anti-inflammatory treatments.
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