Vertigo Self Diagnosis

vertigoAVertigo is not the same as dizziness, although many patients describe it that way. It combines the sensation of movement with the feeling of disorientation. Depending on the cause of the vertigo, symptoms can last from a few seconds to several days.  The most common symptoms of vertigo include:

  • Facial pain, pressure, congestion, or fullness
  • Feeling that the room is spinning
  • Disorientation
  • Hearing loss
  • Nausea
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Vomiting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Pale skin
  • Sweating
  • Walking problems

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, you may want to call Chicago ENT today for an expert opinion.

Vestibular Disorders

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
This is the most common type of vertigo and usually occurs when people change position, such as bending over to pick something up, turning over in bed, or moving their head quickly. The cause may be unknown or due to age, ear infection, dirt or other debris in the ear, or head trauma.

Acute Vestibular Neuritis
This condition is a dysfunction with the vestibular system that lasts for a few days, but is not associated with any hearing or neurological symptoms. This may be triggered by a virus.

Labyrinthitis
This is a bacterial or viral infection of the inner ear.

Meniere’s Disease
This condition accounts for about 10% of all vertigo cases and is caused by a change in fluid volume in the labyrinth.  It may cause hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing or roaring sound in the ear) in one or both ears.

Other Causes of Vertigo:

  • Acoustic neuroma – a benign tumor of the acoustic nerve that travels from the ear to the brain
  • Aging
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Certain medications such as anti-convulsants, alcohol, or quinine
  • Foreign object in the ear
  • Hemorrhage in the brain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Reduced blood flow to the cerebellum and brain stem that can occur during a stroke
  • Trauma/injury to the inner ear or head
  • Underactive thyroid gland – hypothyroidism
  • Viral or bacterial infections such as an ear infection, encephalitis, or meningitis

Know These Vertigo Risk Factors

Your chances of developing vertigo may increase with one or more of these factors:

  • Aging
  • Blood circulation problem or hemorrhage in the brain
  • Infection
  • Injury to the head or neck
  • Migraines
  • Multiple sclerosis

The following symptoms may be a sign of stroke:

  • A change in consciousness
  • Difficulty speaking or walking
  • Double vision
  • Weakness

Vertigo Prevention

Vertigo can cause you to fall if you’re not careful. These steps can help reduce your chances of falling:

  • Avoid changing positions quickly. When you get up from a chair or the bed, sit on the edge for a second or two and then ease up slowly.
  • Ask your doctor about exercises that can help improve your balance and reduce vertigo symptoms.
  • Sit down if you start feeling as though the room is spinning.

Prognosis

Vertigo is caused by problems with the inner ear that can be effectively treated with medication and exercises. A brain tumor or blood vessel problem can be more serious and will need to be evaluated by a neurologist. Your progress depends on the condition that is causing your vertigo and how effectively it is treated.

If you have more questions on vertigo, click here for our FAQ.