Is Your Dizziness Vertigo? 7 Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

Vertigo is a sensation of dizziness that goes beyond simple lightheadedness. While dizziness is caused by various factors like dehydration or low blood sugar, vertigo is more like a feeling of spinning or tilting, often accompanied by other symptoms. Millions of people experience vertigo each year, significantly affecting their daily activities.

Now, we’ll explore the warning signs of vertigo and when seeking professional advice is crucial.

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo isn’t a standalone disease but a symptom of an underlying problem within the inner ear or the brain. The inner ear plays a vital role in our sense of balance. It contains tiny canals filled with fluid and hair cells that detect head movements and send signals to the brain. When these signals are interrupted, it can cause feelings of confusion and dizziness, which we call vertigo.

There are two main types of vertigo:

Peripheral vertigo is the most common type, arising from issues within the inner ear itself. Conditions like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or Meniere’s disease can cause this type of vertigo.

Central vertigo is a less common type that originates from problems in the brain, such as stroke, migraines, or tumours.

While experiencing vertigo symptoms, it is crucial to consult a medical professional for diagnosis. However, home remedies for vertigo symptoms may also help alleviate the discomfort.

8 Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore If You Have Vertigo

While occasional dizziness might be nothing to worry about, vertigo often presents with specific symptoms that warrant a closer look. Here are eight signs that your dizziness could be vertigo:

Nausea and Vomiting

The disorientation and dizziness caused by vertigo can trigger nausea and vomiting in many people because the inner ear also plays a role in regulating nausea, and the mixed signals can lead to stomach upset. However, this combo can also be a symptom of migraines, Meniere’s disease (inner ear issue), or meningitis. If detected early, most conditions causing vertigo and vomiting are treatable.

Sweating and Anxiety

The intense disorientation and nausea associated with vertigo can trigger a fight-or-flight response in your body. This is a natural reaction to a perceived threat, and it can manifest in several ways. You might experience sudden sweating, an increased heart rate, and even difficulty breathing. This can further amplify the feeling of anxiety and make a vertigo episode even more unpleasant.

Extreme Headache

Sometimes, vertigo can be accompanied by extreme headaches, such as throbbing or pressure headaches that worsen with head movement and add to the discomfort. But when headaches become persistent and severe, especially alongside vertigo, it’s time to take notice. These intense headaches could be a sign of something more serious.

For many people, headaches with vertigo might be a red flag for migraine-associated vertigo or benign paroxysmal vertigo (BPPV).

Hearing Loss or Tinnitus

Some types of vertigo can affect your hearing. You might experience temporary hearing loss in one or both ears and hear muffled sounds. Sometimes, you might experience tinnitus, a ringing or buzzing sound in your ears that can be constant or come and go.

Loss of Balance

Vertigo disrupts the messages your inner ear sends to your brain about your position and movement. You might feel unsteady on your feet, like you’re constantly leaning to one side. Walking in a straight line can become challenging, with a tendency to veer off course or feel like walking on a moving ship. Loss of balance can also lead to a fear of falling, adding to the overall disorientation.

Loss of Consciousness

Severe vertigo episodes can sometimes lead to fainting or feeling lightheaded enough to lose consciousness momentarily. While this can be scary, it’s not always a dire situation. Dehydration, skipped meals, or high stress can all contribute to feeling faint alongside vertigo.

Impaired Speech and Double Vision

Difficulty speaking clearly or slurring your words alongside vertigo can be a warning sign of a stroke. Double vision, where you see two images of the same object, further strengthens this concern. Strokes are time-sensitive emergencies. While vertigo may also cause nausea, vomiting, and neck pain, a combination with the above symptoms necessitates professional evaluation.

When to Seek Help

While occasional, brief episodes of vertigo might not require immediate medical attention, it’s crucial to seek professional help if you experience:

● Frequent vertigo attacks

● Severe vertigo that significantly impacts daily life

● Other concerning symptoms like slurred speech, weakness, or vision problems accompany vertigo.

● Hearing loss or tinnitus alongside vertigo

Early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying cause of vertigo can significantly improve your quality of life. Doctors can perform a physical exam, inner ear tests, and imaging scans to determine the cause of your vertigo and recommend the most appropriate treatment course.

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Vertigo?

Various factors can cause vertigo, and research suggests that chiropractic care may offer relief in some instances. Chiropractors focus on the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine and its alignment. Misalignments in the upper cervical spine, near the neck, can sometimes disrupt communication between the brain and inner ear, potentially contributing to vertigo.

Chiropractic adjustments aim to restore proper spinal alignment, which may improve nerve function and alleviate vertigo symptoms in some individuals. Studies on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for vertigo are ongoing, and it’s important to remember that chiropractic care is not a cure-all.

If your doctor finds that your vertigo might benefit from chiropractic care, they can refer you to a qualified chiropractor experienced in treating this condition.

Don’t Let Vertigo Disrupt Your Daily Activities - Seek Help!

Vertigo can be a disorienting and unpleasant experience. The good news is that vertigo can be treated, especially if diagnosed early.

If you’re experiencing vertigo accompanied by other symptoms, consult a doctor to discuss your symptoms and explore potential treatment options. You can also contact Chiro-Med about chiropractic care as a complementary approach.

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