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Vertigo Overview

Vertigo Overview

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Published by acsin92
Facts and Tips on what to know about Vertigo.
Facts and Tips on what to know about Vertigo.

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Categories:Types, Resumes & CVs
Published by: acsin92 on Jun 23, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Vertigo Overview
Vertigo is the feeling that you or your environment is moving or spinning. It differs fromdizziness in that vertigo describes an illusion of movement. When you feel as if you yourself aremoving, it's called subjective vertigo, and the perception that your surroundings are moving iscalled objective vertigo.Unlike nonspecific lightheadedness or dizziness, vertigo has relatively few causes.
Vertigo Causes
Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and ischaracterized by the sensation of motion initiated by sudden head movements or movingthe head in a certain direction. This type of vertigo is rarely serious and can be treated.
Vertigo may also be caused by inflammation within the inner ear (labyrinthitis), which ischaracterized by the sudden onset of vertigo and may be associated with hearing loss. Themost common cause of labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection.
Meniere's disease is composed of a triad of symptoms: episodes of vertigo, ringing in theears, and hearing loss. People have the abrupt onset of severe vertigo, fluctuating hearingloss, as well as periods in which they are symptom-free.
Acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor that can cause vertigo. Symptoms include vertigowith one-sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
Vertigo can be caused by decreased blood flow to the base of the brain. Bleeding into the back of the brain (cerebellar hemorrhage) is characterized by vertigo, headache, difficultywalking, and inability to look toward the side of the bleed. The result is that the person'seyes gaze away from the side with the problem. Walking is also extremely impaired.
Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. The onset is usually abrupt,and examination of the eyes may reveal the inability of the eyes to move past the midlinetoward the nose.
Head trauma and neck injury may also result in vertigo, which usually goes away on itsown.
Migraine , a severe form of headache, may also cause vertigo. The vertigo is usuallyfollowed by a headache. There is often a prior history of similar episodes but no lasting problems.
Vertigo Symptoms
Vertigo implies that there is a sensation of motion either of the person or the environment. Thisshould not be confused with symptoms of lightheadedness or fainting.
If true vertigo exists, there is a sensation of disorientation or motion. In addition, the patient may also have any or all of these symptoms:
 Nausea or vomiting
Abnormal eye movements
The duration of symptoms can be from minutes to hours, and symptoms can be constantor episodic. The onset may be due to a movement or change in position. It is important totell the doctor about any recent head trauma or whiplash injury as well as any newmedications the patient is taking.
The patient may have hearing loss and a ringing sensation in the ears.
The patient might have visual disturbances, weakness, difficulty speaking, decreasedlevel of consciousness, and difficulty walking.
Exams and Tests
The evaluation of vertigo consists primarily of a medical history and physical exam.The history is comprised of four basic areas.1.The doctor may want to know if the patient feels any sensation of motion, which mayindicate that true vertigo exists. Report any nausea, vomiting, sweating, and abnormal eyemovements.2.The doctor may ask how long the patient has symptoms and whether they are constant or come and go. Do the symptoms occur when moving or changing positions? Is the patientcurrently taking any new medications? Has there been any recent head trauma or whiplash injury?3.Are there any other hearing symptoms? Specifically, report any ringing in the ears or hearing loss.4.Does the patient have weakness, visual disturbances, altered level of consciousness,difficulty walking, abnormal eye movements, or difficulty speaking?The doctor may perform tests such as a CT scan if a brain injury is suspected to be the cause of vertigo.Blood tests to check blood sugar levels and the use of an electrocardiogram (ECG) to look atheart rhythm may also be helpful.
Medical Treatment
The choice of treatment will depend on the diagnosis.
Vertigo can be treated with medicine taken by mouth, through medicine placed on theskin (a patch), or drugs given through an IV.
Specific types of vertigo may require additional treatment and referral:
Bacterial infection of the middle ear requires antibiotics.
For Meniere's disease, in addition to symptomatic treatment, people might be placed on a low salt diet and may require medication used to increase urineoutput.
A hole in the inner ear causing recurrent infection may require referral to an ear,nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for surgery.

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