Vertigo / Dizziness
Other Names - Dizziness, Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Meniere disease, Motion Sickness, Labyrinthitis
Vertigo is a feeling of spinning (whirling) or falling down when there are no actual body movements. Vertigo is caused most often due to problems in the brain and inner ear. The most common form of vertigo is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). It is a symptom of a balance disorder that occurs due to disturbances caused in the inner ear balance.
Vertigo may last for a few moments, several hours, or even days. Vertigo is most common in elderly people, but can affect both sexes at any age.
The patient suffering from vertigo complains of a sensation of motion or spinning within stable surroundings, and it may be accompanied by loss of balance and nausea.
Depending on the symptoms and signs, a diagnosis of vertigo can be made. To make an accurate diagnosis the doctor can sometimes advice tests like Dix-Hallpike test, computerized dynamic posturography, audiometry or electronystagmography.
Treatment of vertigo depends largely on the underlying cause of vertigo. Ear infection will need treatment with antibiotics. Common medicines for treatment of the condition include- meclizine hydrochloride (Antivert), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), promethazine hydrochloride (Phenergan) and diazepam (Valium). Physical therapy might be recommended in some forms of vertigo.
People suffering from vertigo should take precautions so that they do not fall and hurt themselves. House and toilets may need to have railings installed.