Dizziness & Vertigo FAQs

What is dizziness & vertigo?

Dizziness is a broad term encompassing various sensations, including spatial disorientation, perceived motion of the environment, light-headedness, and even the impending feeling of falling or requiring external support to maintain balance (National Library of Medicine; Mesh, 2021). On the other hand, vertigo is a distinct sensation where either oneself or the surrounding environment is in motion when it is not. It's often described as a spinning or swaying feeling (Post & Dickerson, 2010).

What Causes dizziness and vertigo?

The primary culprits responsible for dizziness and vertigo include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): This is the most common cause of vertigo and results from displaced crystals within the inner ear, leading to a sensation akin to spinning or swaying (Post & Dickerson, 2010). Check out our blog on BPPV here for more on that.
  • Meniere's Disease: Meniere's disease can cause sudden bouts of vertigo, along with symptoms like tinnitus and hearing loss. It can be likened to a turbulent sea within the inner ear (Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium, 1995).
  • Labyrinthitis: This condition is caused by viral infections affecting the labyrinth and can lead to vertigo, nausea, and auditory disturbances, similar to catching a flu in your inner ear (Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium, 1995).

Are Dizziness and Vertigo Signs of a Serious Underlying Problem?

While occasionally they may indicate a more severe underlying condition, most often dizziness and vertigo are benign and serve as signals to investigate further when persistent or severe. They can be seen as your body's way of saying it might be time for a check-up.

What Can Be Done to Treat Dizziness and Vertigo?

Treatment strategies vary based on the underlying cause:

  • For BPPV: Therapeutic manoeuvres involving specific head positions are employed to reposition dislocated inner ear crystals, effectively restoring balance (Bhattacharyya et al., 2017). This is something we at Sycamore Health can do! Moreover, we can also train you to do the manoeuvre yourself. 
  • For Meniere's Disease: Lifestyle modifications such as reducing salt intake, coupled with medication management of symptoms, are employed to regain equilibrium (Havia et al., 2005).
  • For Labyrinthitis: Rest, hydration, and antiviral medications constitute the primary therapeutic approach, aiding the inner ear in its recovery (Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium, 1995).

In conclusion, dizziness and vertigo may seem perplexing, but understanding their origins and available treatments can help bring stability to your world. Seeking guidance from healthcare professionals is advised if these sensations persist or prove bothersome. Knowledge is the key to steadying yourself amidst the whirlwind of dizziness and vertigo, ensuring you remain grounded in your journey towards balance and well-being.

If you need help with any of this, we would love to help you out!

REFERENCES (click to view)

Bhattacharyya, N., Gubbels, S. P., Schwartz, S. R., et al. (2017). Clinical Practice Guideline: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (Update). Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 156(3_suppl), S1-S47.

Committee on Hearing and Equilibrium. (1995). Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Evaluation of Therapy in Menière's Disease. American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Foundation, Inc.

Havia, M., Kentala, E., Pyykkö, I., & Kentala, T. (2005). Prospective Long-term Follow-up of Menière's Disease Patients. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 125(10), 1005-1010.

Mesh (2021). Dizziness. National Library of Medicine.

Post, R. E., & Dickerson, L. M. (2010). Dizziness: A Diagnostic Approach. American Family Physician, 82(4), 361–369.

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