What Causes Vertigo?

If you have vertigo, you know that it can be unsettling. Your world seems to rock and roll beneath and around you, and you can’t keep your balance. The only thing more worrisome than experiencing vertigo may be not knowing the source of it. 

At One Accord Physical Therapy, our team of experts can get to the bottom of your vertigo with an accurate diagnosis and a treatment plan that can have you back in balance in just a few sessions. We also believe that taking the mystery out of your dizziness is the first step toward helping you understand your symptoms and getting the most out of your treatment and recovery.

Understanding balance

Your balance is all in your ears. Deep in your inner ear, you have a system of canals filled with fluid and coated with tiny hairs that send messages to your brain regarding your head’s position in relationship to your surroundings. 

When anything disturbs those receptors, you feel dizzy and out of balance — vertigo. So what might disturb that balance?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

The most common culprit of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, a lengthy term that simply means you have some crystallized particles taking a swim in your inner ear fluid where they shouldn’t be. And they’re interfering with the signals being sent to your brain about your head movements, so your brain can’t register the position correctly and you feel dizzy.

Treating BPPV

Once we’ve determined your vertigo is BPPV, we can easily correct it in just a few visits. The treatment for BPPV involves specialized maneuvers that coax those rogue crystals out of your inner ear fluid and into a chamber where they can be absorbed by your body and stop making you dizzy.

Vestibular neuritis

Another cause of vertigo is vestibular neuritis — an ear infection. Typically caused by a virus, this type of vertigo may be accompanied by other symptoms of being ill, such as headache, fever, and nausea. 

Treating vestibular neuritis

If you have vertigo caused by a virus, it generally goes away once the illness has run its course. If it’s caused by a bacterial infection, antibiotics can help you fight it faster so you can reduce the swelling and feel some relief.

Meniere’s disease

If the fluid in your inner ear becomes overabundant and the canals fill beyond normal capacity, it’s called Meniere’s disease. Some people who suffer from this buildup of water and pressure not only feel dizzy, but also experience ringing in the ears and even hearing loss. 

Treating Meniere’s disease

To address the symptoms of Meniere’s disease, we treat the underlying cause — fluid. Diuretic medication helps your body flush out excess water so your ears and your balance can get back to normal.

When to seek treatment for vertigo

Your brain has an amazing capacity to adapt when things go wrong, and when one part of your body is malfunctioning, it tends to rely on others to compensate. However, if your vertigo is caused by an issue that won’t go away on its own, your imbalance may cause you to fall and suffer even greater injuries or inadvertently hurt others. Clearly, it’s important to seek treatment and get your vertigo under control.

If you’re experiencing dizziness, swaying, ear ringing, disorientation, nausea, or headaches with your vertigo, call us at any of our four convenient Arizona locations. We can help restore your balance and your health.

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