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Vertigo

When a patient is having Vertigo they will often experience feelings of dizziness and the feeling that everything around them is moving or spinning. The patient may feel that his/her surroundings seem to be moving either vertically or horizontally. Sometimes the feeling may be so slight that it is hardly noticeable. Symptoms of vertigo can last from a few minutes to several days, and sometimes much longer.

Symptoms

Symptoms can vary from one or multiple of the following:

  • Loss of balance, nausea
  • Problems standing still properly
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Problems walking properly
  • Blurred vision

Types of Vertigo

Three types of vertigo include peripheral vertigo, central vertigo and psychogenic vertigo.

  • Peripheral vertigo is when there is a problem with the portion of the inner ear that controls balance or with the vestibular nerve.
  • Central vertigo is caused by a dysfunction within the brain (cerebellum or brain stem). Often times Central vertigo may be associated with migraine headaches, transient ischemic attacks, stroke, multiple sclerosis and acoustic neuroma.
  • Psychogenic vertigo occurs with patients who have an underlying psychological disorder.

Vertigo is medically different from dizziness, lightheadedness, and unsteadiness. Most commonly vertigo is caused by an inner ear problem, but may also be associated with an eyesight problem. However, for some people the severity of symptoms makes it hard to keep balance and carry out everyday tasks.

Even though most of us might have the occasional dizzy spell; vertigo is different.

"Vertigo" is often used, incorrectly, to describe the fear of heights, but the correct term for this is acrophobia. The medical term vertigo can occur at any time and may last for days, weeks, months, and even years, while acrophobia symptoms occur only when the person is at elevated heights.

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