Vertigo is a symptom rather than a condition in which patient inappropriately experiences the perception of motion (usually a spinning motion) due to dysfunction of the vestibular system. This feeling may be slight and barely noticeable or it may be so severe that the patient finds it difficult to keep balance and do everyday tasks. There are three types of vertigo:
1. Objective: Describes when the patient has the sensation that objects in the environment are moving.
2. Subjective: It refers to when the patient feels as if he or she is moving
3. Pseudo vertigo: An intensive sensation of rotation inside the patient’s head.
Symptoms of dizziness may be constant and last for several days, making normal life very difficult. Other symptoms associated with vertigo may include:
Loss of balance, which can make it difficult to stand or walk
Nausea (feeling sick) or vomiting (being sick)
The main reason for the cause of the problem is the balance mechanisms of the inner ear, although it can also be due to a problem within the brain or the nerves. Other causes:
1.Labyrinthitis: It is an inner ear infection that causes a delicate structure deep inside the ear (the labyrinth) to become inflamed. The labyrinth is a maze of fluid-filled channels that control hearing and balance.
2. Vestibular neuronitis: It also known as vestibular neuritis, is an inner ear condition that causes inflammation of the nerve connecting the labyrinth to the brain.
It can be diagnosed by the symptoms. The tests include:
1. Electronystagmography (ENG): Electronystagmography (ENG) is sometimes used to check for signs of nystagmus in more detail. Nystagmus can indicate a problem with the organs that help you balance.
2. Dix-Hallpike manoeuvre rotation tests: Dix-Hallpike’s manoeuvre is a test that can bring on the symptoms of vertigo. It’s often used to confirm cases of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Other tests include:
3. Head-thrust test
4. Caloric reflex test
5. Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP)
6. CT scans or MRIs are also sometimes used by physicians when diagnosing vertigo
Treatment depends on the severity and the symptoms associated with vertigo. These include:
A low-salt diet
Intratympanic injections of the antibiotic gentamicin
A benzodiazepine such as diazepam to reduce vertigo by sedating the vestibular system.
Other treatment options for vertigo may include:
Anticholinergics such as scopolamine
Anticonvulsants such as topiramate or valproic acid for vestibular migraines
Antihistamines such as betahistine, dimenhydrinate, or meclozine, which may have antiemetic properties
Beta-blockers such as metoprolol for vestibular migraine.