Vertigo is a symptom of the sensation of yourself or the room around you spinning.
Vertigo is a symptom of the sensation of yourself or the room around you spinning. Or it can also be understood as a sensation in which the body feels floating as if it is about to fall.
Vertigo attacks vary, from mild dizziness of short duration to severe and long-lasting. If you experience the second one, you can be sure that your daily activities will be disrupted due to difficulties in maintaining your body’s balance.
You should consult a doctor if vertigo does not go away. The doctor will collect information about the symptoms experienced and carry out an initial examination which will be followed by additional examinations. This is done if the frequency of vertigo is quite frequent.
The main cause of vertigo is generally caused by vestibular neuronitis or disorders of the inner ear. This disturbance will lead to balance problems. However, vertigo can also be caused by problems with certain areas of the brain.
In addition, there are several common causes of vertigo including:
- Migraines are throbbing headaches that are usually felt on one side of the head
- Brain disorders, such as tumors
- Meniere’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear
- Medications that can cause ear damage
- Head trauma
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV), triggered by a change in head position
Symptoms of vertigo can appear for a short duration or come and go. Some of the vertigo symptoms that can be recognized are as follows:
- The sensation of self or surroundings spinning
- Lose balance
- being pulled in one direction
Meanwhile, other vertigo symptoms that usually appear together, include:
- Abnormal eye movements
- Hearing ringing in the ears or instead, hearing loss
The initial stage of diagnosing a disease or condition is the gathering of information by the doctor. The doctor will ask you some detailed information on the symptoms that appear by asking questions, such as:
- A detailed description of when vertigo symptoms first appear. For example, you feel like your surroundings are spinning or you are dizzy.
- You have other symptoms, such as ringing in your ears, nausea, vomiting, or hearing loss.
- How often the symptoms occur and their duration.
- Do the symptoms interfere with routine, for example, difficulty walking?
- What can relieve your symptoms?
- Your health and family history.
- Drugs consumed.
- Injuries that may have been experienced before symptoms appeared.
To strengthen the results of the diagnosis, the doctor will perform a physical examination to see signs of disease that may be the cause of your vertigo. This examination is usually done by looking inside the ear and checking the eyes for nystagmus (abnormal eye movements). The doctor will also check your body balance. Or, reconstruct your symptoms by asking you to move quickly from a sitting position to a sleeping position.
According to the symptoms you are experiencing, the doctor will carry out additional examinations in the form of:
- Hearing Test
If you have tinnitus (buzzing in your ears) or hearing loss, your doctor will refer you to an ENT specialist who will do a hearing test. Audiometric tests and tuning fork tests are examples of examinations that an ENT doctor will perform.
- Head Scan Process
The doctor may also suggest a head scan to look for causes of vertigo, such as an acoustic neuroma (brain tumor). Usually, the examination performed is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography scan (CT scan).
- Calorie Test
This examination is carried out by dripping cold or warm water into the ear for 30 seconds. Changes in temperature will stimulate the balance organ in the ear, to check whether it is functioning normally or not. This test is painless but may cause dizziness during and after the test.
- Nystagmus Examination
Nystagmus can be an indicator of a problem with your balance organs. The examination is carried out by recording eye movements using videonystagmography (VNG) glasses or using the electronystagmography (ENG) method.
- Posturography to Check Your Balance
A machine will be used to test your balance. This examination will show which part of your body’s balance system is most reliable.
Vertigo is actually not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying disease. Therefore, the treatment of vertigo depends on the diagnosis of the disease that causes it.
It should also be noted that cases of vertigo can recover without treatment. This may be because the brain has managed to adjust to changes in the inner ear.
Here are some causes of vertigo that require special treatment:
- Vertigo that can be treated with drugs is vertigo caused by vestibular neuronitis or Meniere’s disease. Generally, vertigo medication will be given for 3 to 14 days, depending on what the vertigo drug is prescribed for.
Vertigo drugs that are usually given by doctors are prochlorperazine and antihistamines. If these two drugs are effective in relieving the symptoms you are experiencing, you will be given a large amount so that you can consume them immediately when vertigo suddenly appears.
However, these drugs are only effective for the initial stages and should not be used long-term.
- Vestibular rehabilitation therapy can help the brain adapt to the confusing signals from the ears that cause vertigo so that the frequency decreases.
- A series of simple head movements (Epley maneuvers) to treat BBPV.
Vertigo symptoms can also be reduced or prevented by taking the following steps:
- Avoid tilting your head, bending, or crouching.
- Avoid moving suddenly.
- Move your head slowly.
- Recognize the triggers for vertigo and do exercises that can trigger vertigo. This is intended so that the brain gets used to it and reduces the frequency of recurrences.
- When vertigo strikes, sit down immediately.
Other symptoms that are often associated with vertigo are:
- Loss of balance will make it difficult for sufferers to stand or walk.
- Nystagmus (abnormal eye movements).