Vertigo is an illusion of movement that usually involves the feeling that a person is spinning or that the room is spinning around him. Of course, vertigo is a rotational sensation only. It can also be tilting, swaying, or any other false sensation of movement.
What are the top causes of vertigo, and how can you combat them? We are going to look at two types of vertigo, peripheral and central. Then we will discuss the most common causes of each. We will conclude with a discussion of a natural therapy that has helped many vertigo patients in case studies.
The Two Types of Vertigo Disease
The conditions that cause vertigo fall into two categories, peripheral and central. What is the difference? Peripheral vertigo involves the ear and vestibular system. Central vertigo involves the central nervous system (CNS) and includes neurological issues that lead to vertigo. With this in mind, we will examine both types of vertigo disease.
Peripheral Causes of Vertigo
There are a number of factors that can relate to the ear when it comes to vertigo. This is because the ear is responsible for much of the sensory data that determine balance and spatial orientation. Here are some of the primary causes of peripheral vertigo.
BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
This is the most common diagnosis, and perhaps the reason is that cases of vertigo where the underlying cause is unknown often get categorized as positional vertigo. The main symptom here is that vertigo usually occurs due to changes in head position.
Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis
These are two different conditions, but we will discuss them together to avoid repetitive content. Both conditions involve inflammation that causes vertigo, and this inflammation usually occurs during or after a virus such as a head cold or the flu. A couple of weeks after the virus subside, vertigo should be over as well. Labyrinthitis is the name of the condition when the inflammation occurs in the inner ear. Vestibular neuritis means that the inflammation is in the vestibular nerve, which sends the information from the ear to the brain.
While not an extremely common condition, there are many more people being diagnosed with Meniere’s disease each year. Vertigo associated with this condition is often severe and can last anywhere from 20 minutes per episode up to an entire day. Other symptoms include ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss in the affected ear, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear. Sometimes, the condition may affect both ears or start in one ear and affect the other ear later on.
Head or Neck Injuries
Vertigo is a symptom of post-concussion syndrome and can be related to neck injuries that are suffered during car accidents, sports injuries, and other causes of trauma.
Medication Side Effect
Diuretics, some cancer drugs, certain antibiotics, and salicylates can all cause peripheral vertigo.
Central Causes of Vertigo
Because the central nervous system interprets the signals from the ears and other sensory data received by the body, a malfunction in the nervous system can also cause vertigo. Here are some of the neurological conditions that can lead to this symptom.
- Migraines – Vestibular migraines may be responsible for millions of cases of vertigo. About 39 million people in the US get migraines, and as much as 40% of them will have vertigo as a symptom.
- Medication side effects – Medications can affect more than just the ears. Tranquilizers, sedatives, contraceptives, diabetes medications, analgesics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, and anti-inflammatory medications can all be causes of central vertigo.
- Seizures – Epileptic vertigo is rather rare, but it can lead to repeat occurrence of vertigo. This condition occurs when the part of the temporal lobe that receives signals from the ear is damaged.
- MS (multiple sclerosis) – MS is a neurological condition that results when the body attacks itself and destroys the myelin sheath of the nerves. As the nerves become damaged and scar tissue forms, vertigo is just one of the many symptoms a person may experience.
- Stroke – If you are experiencing symptoms of a stroke, whether or not vertigo is one of those symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately.
- Tumors – Whether cancerous or benign, a tumor that affects brain function can cause vertigo.
Natural Help for Central and Peripheral Causes of Vertigo
While vertigo may occasionally be a symptom of an emergency medical condition, most causes of vertigo are not an emergency. An upper cervical chiropractor may be able to help you get relief from these other causes of vertigo. This is because many underlying vertigo factors can be related to misalignments of the upper cervical spine.
Since the atlas (C1) is in between the ears and it surrounds the brainstem, subluxations can lead to both central and peripheral causes of vertigo. Many patients in case studies, who experienced vertigo due to Meniere’s disease or in the wake of head or neck injuries, were able to find relief thanks to the realignment of the top bones in the neck.
If you are suffering from vertigo, even for an unidentified underlying cause, upper cervical chiropractic may help. Adjustments are always gentle – there is no popping or twisting of the neck – and are provided on an as-needed basis. To learn more, contact an upper cervical chiropractor in your area today.