What is Vertigo
The sensation of spinning or moving when there is no visible movement defines vertigo. It can cause disorientation and fear. If you have vertigo, it may be hard to know what causes it and how to manage it.
Vertigo can be a symptom of many underlying conditions, including various types of brain injury, certain medications, and some types of medical conditions such as Ménière’s disease or viral infections. Vertigo can be challenging to diagnose and treat because it may also occur in conjunction with other symptoms intended to draw attention away from what is going on in the body.
Vertigo and its Treatment
For example, people with symptoms of vertigo such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears) may assume they are hearing things. If you notice unusual changes in your vision or other senses, talk to your Florida neurologist immediately about possible causes and treatment options. People who get vertigo attacks can happen at any age, but they’re more common in people over 65. Women are somewhat more likely to experience vertigo than men. Some people experience vertigo as a side effect of pregnancy.
Causes of Vertigo
There are many possible causes vertigo. The most common are brain injury (such as a head injury), medication side effects, certain medical conditions, and certain types of infections. Some causes of vertigo are more common than others.
Brain injury can result in a condition called acute vertigo, which is characterized by sudden episodes of vertigo followed by rapid improvement. It is normally caused by a bump or blow to the head but may also be due to other causes such as a blood clot or stroke. Medication side effects are a frequent cause of vertigo. This can occur when a medication you’re taking interferes with your balance, causing dizziness.
Brain Injury and Vestibular System Disorders
When people undergo brain injury, they sometimes experience vertigo due to a disruption to their vestibular system, which is responsible for balance and orientation in space. This disruption can occur when the brain is injured and damaged, as in a head injury. It also can be an effect of the injury itself, as when there is damage to brain areas responsible for maintaining balance and orientation.
For example, in vertigo associated with brain injury, balance disorders can result from damage to the vestibular portion of the brain, which is responsible for processing signals from the inner ear (the part of the body responsible for balance and orientation). Medications used to treat dizziness resulting from vestibular disorders and vertigo can sometimes cause side effects such as vertigo.
For example, certain medicines used to treat certain types of epilepsy can cause dizziness, as can certain antidepressants. Certain medicines to treat Parkinson’s disease and movement disorders, such as multiple sclerosis, may also cause vertigo. These types of medication-related vertigo are usually benign and self-limiting. This means that the condition usually goes away without any treatment. However, some medications can cause permanent damage to the vestibular system, which could cause long-lasting vertigo.
Viral Infections and Vertigo
Certain viruses can cause vertigo, usually lasting a few weeks. The common viral infection that affects the brain is called encephalitis. Once the disease is treated, the dizziness usually resolves. If it doesn’t, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition. Other types of viral infections, such as certain types of meningitis, can cause vertigo that lasts a few days to a few weeks. If the dizziness doesn’t improve after the viral cause has been treated, it could also indicate a serious underlying condition.
Treatment for Vertigo
Vertigo and neurologists go hand in hand. As a disease of the brain, vertigo is most often treated and addressed by a qualified neurologist. The neurologist treating vertigo often prescribes treatment protocol that includes antihistamines, anti-seizure medications, or certain types of sedatives.
Vertigo can also be treated with certain types of brain stimulation that helps reduce the frequency of vertigo episodes. For example, if you have a brain injury that causes vertigo, you may be able to reduce the frequency of vertigo episodes by wearing earplugs or earmuffs at night to block out external sounds. However, it’s important to note that after taking these steps, the underlying cause of vertigo will probably remain if it’s not caused by a treatable brain injury or other condition.
Contact us at Jeff Steinberg MD
Vertigo can be confusing and scary. If you have it, it’s essential to rule out possible causes and get treatment for your symptoms as quickly as possible. Your neurologist Fort Lauderdale can help in figuring out what’s causing your vertigo, and they can recommend the best treatment options.