Why Do I Suddenly Have Vertigo?


Contrary to popular belief, vertigo is not a disorder but a symptom of a disease. Vertigo is a feeling that you or everything in your surroundings is whirling or spinning. But in truth, you are just having false sensations of movement.

People with vertigo may sometimes barely notice the attacks, or they may complain of severe pain that forces them to just lie down until the unbalanced feeling passes. Vertigo attacks can appear without warning. Also, vertigo episodes can occur anytime, ranging from a few seconds to even a few days. As a result, daily tasks can become extremely hard to do. 

Vertigo symptoms include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Nausea or vomiting

What Causes Your Sudden Vertigo?

The most common reason for vertigo to occur is any condition related to the inner ear. However, problems in specific regions of the brain can also cause vertigo. Episodes of vertigo may appear due to any of the following:

  • Migraines
  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) 
  • Labyrinthitis 
  • Vestibular Neuronitis 

The 2 Types of Vertigo

There are two different categories of vertigo that are separated depending on what causes the vertigo attacks. These are mainly peripheral and central.

1. Peripheral Vertigo

It is the most common type of vertigo that comes about due to a malfunction of the balance mechanisms within the inner ear.

2. Central Vertigo

It develops due to problems in specific areas of the brain, such as the cerebellum or the brainstem.

Conditions That Cause Peripheral Vertigo

  • Meniere’s Disease

It is a rare condition of the inner ear that triggers vertigo, tinnitus, hearing loss, and a sensation of congestion of the inner ear.

  • Neck Trauma or Injury

Vertigo can be quite frequent as a result of this kind of injury. If this happened to you, it would be a good idea to seek medical attention immediately.

  • Head Injury

Symptoms of dizziness and vertigo may trigger after you experience a head injury. If so, please consult a doctor to rule out other serious complications.

  • Vestibular Neuronitis

It is an inner ear condition that damages the vestibular nerve. The inflammation is due to a virus that comes on suddenly. Some of the symptoms include nausea, unsteadiness, vomiting, and hearing problems. These may last for a few hours or days. However, it may take weeks to settle down ultimately.

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV

It is a widespread cause of vertigo that is related to particular movements of the head. Vomiting and nausea may accompany it. Also, nystagmus (rapid eye movements) may occur.  

BPPV happens due to the displacement of crystals within the inner ear. If these crystals break off and move into the ear's fluid-filled canals, they can cause damage. It often results in mixed and improper messages reaching the brain, which leads to vertigo. Individuals over the age of 50 are most likely candidates for this condition.

  • Labyrinthitis

It is an inner ear infection that makes the labyrinth (a structure deep in the ear) to swell. The labyrinth is fluid-filled channels that regulate balance and hearing. If it becomes inflamed, the information sent from it to the brain will cause conflict with the data from the eyes and ears. As a result, vertigo attacks occur.

Labyrinthitis often occurs following a virus such as the common cold, the flu, or it could be due to a bacterial infection.

Symptoms include the following:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Hearing loss
  • Tinnitus
  • Fever
  • Ear pain
  • Certain Medications

Vertigo is often just a side effect of certain drugs or medications.

Conditions That Cause Central Vertigo

  • Migraines

It is a neurological condition that causes severe and throbbing head pain with the following symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, and strong smells
  • Vomiting along with vertigo
  • A Brain Tumor

In many cases, it is near the lower part of the brain where the cerebellum resides.

  • Multiple sclerosis

It is a condition that affects the central nervous system that includes the brain, brainstem, and spinal cord.

  • Acoustic Neuroma

A rare, benign brain tumor located on the acoustic nerve impairs the sense of balance and hearing.

  • Stroke or TIA (Transient Ischaemic Attack)

It occurs when a significant part of the blood supply to the brain becomes suddenly cut off.

  • Side Effect from Medication

Vertigo can be a common side effect of some drugs or medications. Please check the leaflet that comes with your prescription medicine. Is vertigo listed among its possible side effects? Make sure it is not.

A Case Study Observed 60 Vertigo Patients

Have you ever wondered if there is anything that can help ease up vertigo attacks? There was a case study that involved 60 vertigo patients. Out of all participants, 56 of them recalled having some trauma or injury before the onset of their vertigo. Those traumas and injuries included sports-related accidents, vehicular fender bender, some slipping, tripping, and falling incidents.

All of them had a misalignment in their upper cervical spine or upper neck area. Therefore, each patient received a personally tailored adjustment by an upper cervical chiropractor. As a result, all 60 vertigo patients saw significant improvements within six months. Some of them had positive results as early as the first month. In conclusion, 12 patients experienced positive achievements and considerable vertigo relief. Forty-eight patients reported that their vertigo was completely gone.

Care That Addresses Vertigo Right at Its Root

Upper cervical chiropractic care uses a precise, soft, and natural method. Chiropractors of this niche move back any misaligned upper cervical bones into their proper place and urge them to hold in their correct positions longer. 

The reason this method of chiropractic helps with vertigo relief has to do with the brainstem. The C1 (atlas) and C2 (axis) vertebrae are so close to the brainstem. These bones protect the brainstem. A misalignment of these two vertebrae puts stress on the brainstem, which causes a malfunction. The brainstem will start to send wrong signals to the brain, which are often not in agreement with the messages sent by the ears and eyes. Thus, the brain becomes confused, and vertigo becomes the result.

When the misalignment gets corrected, the body starts healing naturally. Thus, vertigo will no longer be an issue. 

Seek an upper cervical chiropractor in your area to enjoy vertigo relief as soon as possible.

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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.