To help patients and anyone on the Internet understand peripheral vertigo, we answered some frequently asked questions about it. This comprehensive source of information shares what causes peripheral vertigo and the natural remedy that can help alleviate this type of vertigo.
What is Peripheral Vertigo?
Peripheral vertigo is a vertigo type that affects the inner ear. The inner ear structures make up the vestibular system, which controls the body’s balance and spatial orientation. Considered the most common type of vertigo, peripheral vertigo accounts for 80% of vertigo cases.
Is BPPV Peripheral Vertigo?
Yes, it is. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most prevalent condition categorized as peripheral vertigo.
How Does Peripheral Vertigo Differ From Central Vertigo?
Central vertigo often indicates more serious pathology, and it is less common. It is caused by problems anywhere in the central nervous system—the brain and spinal cord. Multiple sclerosis, brainstem trauma, stroke, vascular diseases, and head injuries are among the conditions associated with central vertigo.
What Does Peripheral Vertigo Feel Like?
Patients may deal with acute, severe attacks when they have peripheral vertigo. Symptoms can be debilitating and get even worse when you make head movements. For the most part, peripheral vertigo involves horizontal/rotary nystagmus, which is fatigable.
What Can Cause Peripheral Vertigo?
The following are the conditions that can cause peripheral vertigo:
When the labyrinth or either of the vestibular nerve and cochlear nerve inside the inner ear becomes irritated or inflamed due to viral or bacterial infection, labyrinthitis develops. Although an uncommon disease, it causes an uncontrollable spinning sensation, hearing loss in one ear, and other symptoms. Viruses such as influenza, hepatitis, mumps, and herpes can lead to labyrinthitis.
This disease stems from inflammation of the vestibular nerve only. Since the nerve responsible for sending information to the brain about your balance and position is infected or inflamed, you feel very dizzy or disorientated. Vertigo associated with this condition may last for 2 to 3 weeks.
Dizziness with occasional hearing loss is the typical sign of Meniere’s disease. Too much fluid in the ear causes disorder in the vestibular system. This condition is quite uncommon but causes symptoms that are truly incapacitating, like vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and feeling of fullness in the affected ear. In some cases, upper cervical corrections can fix the abnormal accumulation of fluid in the inner ear and relieve Meniere’s symptoms.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
BPPV is a disorder that results from the migration of small calcium crystals in the wrong location inside the ear. When they start to float in the fluid-filled canals, the movement of the tiny crystals and the fluid cause dizzy spells.
What Tests Are Needed to Diagnose Peripheral Vertigo?
The diagnosis and evaluation of peripheral vertigo consist of taking a very accurate and detailed patient history along with symptomatic/physical findings.
This assesses and analyzes the patient’s postural and balance control. A patient stands on a platform or stage with his bare feet and holds his balance while a doctor subjects him to different positions.
Audiometric or Hearing Tests
These tests measure your hearing function and are designed to detect any potential or existing issues in the inner ear.
They are recommended to help doctors find a possible cause for vertigo symptoms.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI scan can help your doctor know any possible causes for your vertigo and rule out the incorrect ones. It develops images of the inside of your body. Patients with hearing loss and neurological symptoms can benefit from MRI scans to pin down the cause. An MRI scan may show fluid accumulation and inflammation in the inner ear and even a growth in the nerve.
Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is often performed to let doctors detect any unusual growth, abnormalities, or fractures in the inner ear.
Dix Hallpike Test
Also called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver, it helps diagnose BPPV or positional vertigo.
Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potential (VEMP)
This diagnostic method evaluates whether your nerves and other parts of your body that are linked with the inner ear are working properly. Specific audible tones are played through the patient’s earphones while special electrodes pick up and record the results.
Allergies may also cause vertigo symptoms, so it is vital to identify what you’re allergic to in order to avoid triggering episodes.
Other specialized tests also include:
- Computerized dynamic posturography (CDP)
- Electro/videonystagmography (ENG-VNG)
- Sinusoidal harmonic acceleration (SHA)
Are Peripheral Vertigo and the Cervical Spine Related?
The bone structures clearly define the link between peripheral vertigo and the upper cervical spine/neck. Since the atlas bone of the neck sits close to the ears, when it misaligns, it can affect the Eustachian tubes that drain excess fluid off the ears. The misalignment may cause long-term issues with the ear resulting in vertigo.
Can Upper Cervical Care Help with Peripheral Vertigo?
Upper cervical care is available to anyone experiencing the effects of peripheral vertigo. It is a safe and natural remedy to correct the misalignment of the atlas bone, a very likely cause of vertigo. Using modern diagnostic imaging, doctors of chiropractic measure the precise location and degree of upper cervical misalignment. Upon measurement, customized and chiropractic adjustments are given to the patient.
Anyone who suffers from vertigo repeatedly can benefit from this natural form of chiropractic therapy. If you want to try it, you can visit an upper cervical doctor near your area.