Understanding the Different Causes of Vertigo

Understanding the Different Causes of Vertigo

There are many reasons why you might experience vertigo — the trouble is figuring out which one is responsible for your specific symptoms. If you often find yourself struggling to stay centered in a room that appears to be spinning, or find yourself off balance without warning, it’s likely a sign that something is wrong. An ENT specialist can help you diagnose what’s causing your vertigo and help you decide what treatment is best. 

The ear, nose, and throat specialists at ENT of New Orleans, with offices in Chalmette, Harvey, New Orleans, and Marrero, Louisiana, can accurately diagnose your vertigo and narrow down the root cause to determine what solution will give you relief.

An overview of vertigo 

Vertigo is a kind of dizziness that makes you feel like the world is spinning around you. It’s not the same thing as lightheadedness, which makes you feel like you’re going to fall unconscious. Instead, vertigo can cause you to feel disoriented and nauseated, similar to motion sickness. You might feel like you’re spinning, tilted, or generally unbalanced. 

Other symptoms that commonly accompany vertigo include: 

Common causes of vertigo

There are two types of vertigo: peripheral and central. Peripheral vertigo is caused by problems within the inner ear, which contains your vestibular system. Central vertigo can be caused by damage to the brainstem, which is more common in patients suffering from stroke, multiple sclerosis, and brain injuries. 

The former, peripheral vertigo, can be caused by a number of conditions, including: 

BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo, especially in older patients. Labyrinthitis commonly causes intense, prolonged episodes of vertigo, while Meniere’s disease is often accompanied by bouts of tinnitus and hearing loss. 

Medications and head injuries can lead to central vertigo, so make sure to disclose prescriptions and recent head trauma to your doctor. 

When to seek help

Occasional vertigo may be situational and nothing to be concerned about, especially if episodes are short and infrequent. However, frequent and prolonged vertigo should be taken seriously, especially if it puts you at risk for accidents or falls, or if it has ever happened when you were driving. 

To learn more about vertigo and diagnose what’s causing your symptoms, schedule a consultation with the team at ENT of New Orleans by calling the location closest to you, or request an appointment online.

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