What is vertigo is a common question a lot of people have been asking as it is often thought of as simple dizziness. However, true vertigo makes the affected person feel that the environment is moving or rolling. People who are afflicted by this kind of disorder do not only have to deal with the discomfort and misery of vertigo attacks, but they also have to cope with the shame and embarrassment especially when vertigo episodes occur in public.
A deeper understanding as to what is vertigo is beneficial not only for sufferers but for their loved ones as well. The condition may not be harmless but it could be a warning signal of a more serious medical condition. A visit to the doctor should not be delayed until symptoms become more apparent and life-threatening.
What is vertigo?
Vertigo is derived from the Latin word vertigin, which means to turn. This creates a false impression that the surrounding is turning when it is not. A lot of people had been asking what is vertigo because the condition is often confused with dizziness. Vertigo is more severe than dizziness wherein patients only feel lightheaded and perceive the environment as spinning. On the other hand, people who are suffering from vertigo does not only experience lightheadedness but lose their body balance especially when they suddenly stand up and move their heads.
How common is vertigo?
The question, “what is vertigo?” has become a popular topic especially among adults. This is because around 40% of adults have suffered from vertigo at least one point in their lives. The condition is more prevalent in women than men, and increases as the age progresses. Effective treatment for vertigo is only possible when the underlying cause has been identified.
What causes vertigo?
Gaining a deeper insight into what is vertigo involves knowing what causes it to occur. Vertigo can be due to several conditions, including:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
- Disorder in the central nervous system
- Cerebellar hemorrhages
- Severe migraines
- Menier’s Disease
- Serious health problems such as multiple sclerosis, neck and head trauma
- Ear infection
What are the signs and symptoms of vertigo?
People who are suffering from vertigo have vision problems which are characterized by double vision, blurred eyesight and involuntary movements of the eyes. They also find that their eyes are very sensitive to light. Aside from vision problems, vertigo sufferers also have troubles with their muscular system marked by muscle pain in the neck and back, weakness, imbalance and dizziness. Sufferers may frequently vomit and become nauseous; while talking and walking likewise become a struggle. It may take around 30 to 60 minutes for vertigo attacks to last; these might be triggered by sudden head movements. It may be harmless, but vertigo requires consultation with the doctor to figure out the root cause.
How is vertigo diagnosed?
Further examination about what is vertigo makes one wonder how it is diagnosed. Diagnosing vertigo is quite challenging due to the variety of possible causes. Doctors may conduct several diagnostic tests to determine the possible origin of vertigo by performing electronystagmography, a type of test for the human vestibular system. Depending on the clinic, doctors may have the patient’s balance tested by means of posturography wherein the patient’s ability to sustain equilibrium level is tested.
What are the different treatment methods for vertigo?
Finding satisfactory information concerning about what is vertigo is not complete without learning about the different methods of management. It should be noted that treatment for vertigo significantly varies from one person to another, depending on the specific cause and severity of vertigo attacks. Vertigo can be treated with the following:
Antibiotics are used when the underlying cause of vertigo is bacterial infection.
Surgery might be an option for more serious cases of vertigo.
- Vestibular rehabilitation exercises
This form of treatment method for vertigo involves doing a lot of physical maneuvers, wherein the patient is asked to lie down on the table on his or her side until the vertigo attack has passed, and then switching to the other side. This exercise will be repeated until vertigo has vanished.
Part of treating vertigo involves resolving issues that can trigger vertigo attacks such as fluid retention, prescription medicine side effects and dehydration.
How do dietary changes help vertigo sufferers?
Dietary modifications not only help in treating vertigo but in preventing it as well. A simple diet change can alleviate some symptoms, and this can be done by:
- Limiting the consumption of sugary foods
- Following a diet low in sodium, cholesterol and fatty foods
- Drinking lots of water and avoiding caffeinated beverages
- Eating lots of fruits and vegetables to improve circulation
Learning what is vertigo is beneficial for both sufferers and their families, not only to manage vertigo but to treat and prevent it from happening as well.