Is Central Vertigo More Dangerous Than Peripheral Vertigo?

central vertigo

Central vertigo attacks rarely get discussed online. In fact, if you do a quick research on your go-to search engine, you will likely come across a minimal number of articles covering this specific type of vertigo attack. So, does this mean that it’s a relatively rare issue? Can it cause worse impacts on affected individuals? Is it more dangerous than peripheral vertigo attacks? Let’s dive deep into these matters below.


Is Central Vertigo More Worrying Compared to the Peripheral Type?

Studies note that peripheral vertigo is the more prevalent type, affecting up to 80 percent of all reported cases. It primarily develops from vestibular or inner ear conditions like Meniere’s, BPPV, Labyrinthitis, and Vestibular Neuritis. Meanwhile, central vertigo traces its roots to nervous system problems like multiple sclerosis, brainstem compression due to a growing tumor, and stroke. Because of this, many automatically assume it’s worse than the other type. So, is it truly more troublesome than peripheral vertigo? There isn’t a simple way to answer this question. That’s because vertigo attacks can affect people differently. On top of that, the severity of your condition will likely depend on several factors. These include co-morbidities, old age, lifestyle choices, and postural problems.  However, it does pay to seek urgent medical attention if you suspect having a nervous system-related vertigo attack. Otherwise, you might increase your risks of dealing with even bigger problems. 


The Diverse Disorders and Diseases that Cause Central Vertigo

The National Library of Medicine notes that central vertigo primarily affects aging individuals with increased vascular risks. Additionally, the organization notes several potential causes or triggers of central vertigo, including: 

  • Ischemia of the central nervous and vestibular system organs (reduced oxygen and blood flow)
  • Acute demyelination diseases like multiple sclerosis and autoimmune problems
  • Toxicity due to commonly used anticonvulsants
  • Atherothrombosis or embolism prevents natural blood flow to the brain, brainstem, etc.
  • Cervical disc degeneration compromises the spinal structure and increases risks for nerve and brainstem compression
  • Head and neck trauma like concussion and whiplash 
  • Cerebrovascular accidents like stroke

It’s a good idea to get yourself diagnosed by your primary doctor to determine if you suspect any of the abovementioned issues. This way, you can manage your risks and know your best course of action. Here are some of the usual diagnostic procedures that doctors use to differentiate central vertigo from the peripheral type:

  • Vitals assessment
  • Skin rash examination (especially for those with viral infections)
  • Neck bruit check-up (to check for vertebral or carotid stenosis)
  • Cardiac health assessment to rule out potentially dangerous heart conditions
  • Dix-Hallpike maneuver (to rule out positional vertigo)
  • Neurological examination
  • HINTS (head impulse test, nystagmus and skew deviation) test 


Red Flags You Must Look Out for When You Have Central Vertigo

It’s imperative to pay close attention to your central vertigo symptoms because they can potentially require urgent medical care. Some of the red flags you must look out for include:

  • Persistent worsening of your vertigo attacks
  • Sudden numbness in your body 
  • Difficulty expressing your thoughts or confusion
  • Slurred speech or trouble speaking 
  • Tingling sensation on various body parts
  • Unexplainable and intense headaches
  • Vision problems (loss of vision, blurry sight, etc.)

central vertigo

Relief Options for Patients with Central Vertigo

Patients diagnosed with this form of vertigo can take comfort in the fact that several remedies are available in case an episode strikes. A few examples of these options include:

  • Taking prescription medication to manage the nauseating symptoms
  • Receiving upper cervical care to correct even the slightest changes in the C1 and C2 bones 
  • Undergoing thrombolytic therapy or thrombolysis to dissolve blood clots and improve nutrient flow to the different nervous and vestibular organs
  • Receiving intravenous corticosteroid injections (applicable to patients with advanced demyelination diseases like multiple sclerosis)
  • Management of the causative conditions, diseases, or disorders


Prognosis of Patients Living with Central-type Vertigo

The likelihood of improving one’s condition and limiting the impacts of central vertigo episodes primarily depends on the timeliness of your management efforts. Essentially, the sooner you can spot a potential malfunction in your nervous system due to ischemia, trauma, or other causes, the better your chances of mitigating your risks and the damage to your body.Knowing your exact health problem will also help you rule out other causes of vertigo episodes like BPPV, inner ear infections, acoustic neuroma, Mal Debarquement syndrome, and Meniere’s disease.


Take Your Condition Seriously; Seek Help from a Cervical Chiropractor Today!

Central vertigo attacks can quickly take over your life if you don’t seek immediate help from professionals like your cervical chiropractor. We suggest getting in touch with the nearest cervical chiropractic practice so you can determine if your posture is contributing to your central nervous system problems. Typically, the assessment provided by a cervical doctor helps pinpoint the exact location of neck bone misalignments plus the degree to which the affected bones shifted away from the body’s central axis. Your chiropractor carefully studies the neck structure using the most advanced imaging techniques and additional physical assessments like leg length tests.It is also an integrated approach as upper cervical doctors look into other things like your lifestyle choices, poor posture practices, diet, and exercise regimen. This way, you can have a holistic care plan that will elevate your efforts in keeping a healthy and pain-free body. Visit a local upper cervical doctor to learn about the leading natural vertigo remedy. Your path to healing and recovery can start today if you choose it. Learn more about your condition and start seeing changes in your symptoms with the help of a board-certified chiropractic doctor.


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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.