What is vertigo and what are the signs and symptoms?

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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People with vertigo complain of dizziness or a spinning sensation. They may have difficulty maintaining their balance.

There are two types of vertigo, central and peripheral. Central vertigo is less common and is associated with a problem in the brain. The brain stem or cerebellum are affected. Possible causes include brain tumor or neuritis.

Peripheral vertigo is associated with a inner ear problem. This type is more common and may be due to an inner ear infection, or vestibular nerve inflammation.

Treatment is aimed at identifying the cause, a few medications like Antivert may prove helpful. If the problem is an inner ear infection, appropriate antibiotic therapy is indicated.

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profkjelle | College Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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Vertigo is a type of dizziness that is accompanied by a spinning sensation. Sometimes the person feels that he or she is spinning and sometimes it feels like it is the surroundings that are spinning. Vertigo is caused by a problem in the part of the inner ear that controls balance, or by the vestibular nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. This type of vertigo is caused peripheral vertigo. Vertigo can also occur when there is a problem with the cerebellum, which is the back of the brain.  The main symptom of vertigo is the feeling that you - or your surroundings - are spinning. Other symptoms include problems talking, vision problems (like double vision), difficulty swallowing, paralysis of the facial muscles, and in some cases, nausea and vomiting.

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ako6777 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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Vertigo is the feeling of spinning or whirling while you are standing still.  This is something I have experienced numerous times.  For me it has always been due to medication side effects or the symptoms of withdrawal from medication.  Sometimes I would turn my head and it would appear as if everything had shifted visually.  It can be very disturbing and dangerous if you are driving. Although I never experienced nausea and vomiting with vertigo, it does coincide with the condition. 

"Vertigo also called dizziness, accounts for about 6 million clinic visits in the U.S. every year, and 17–42% of these patients eventually are diagnosed with Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).  BPPV is a condition caused by problems of the inner ear.  Other forms of vertigo include motion sickness, visual exposure to moving objects (while sitting in a car and watching objects go by), and migraines. 

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besure77 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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Vertigo is a feeling that everything around you is spinning, when they actually are not. Sensations associated with vertigo are spinning, whirling, falling, or tilting. Vertigo can become severe and when this happens there may be nausea or vomiting. Sometimes sweating may occur as well.

There are many causes of vertigo. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common type of vertigo. This is caused by the sudden movement of the head in one direction. It is rarely serious and is easily treatable. Vertigo can also be caused due to inflammation of the inner ear. This happens very quickly and may be related to a bacterial or viral infection. Hearing loss is also associated with this. Head trauma and migraines also trigger vertigo. There are many other causes as well.

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angiewill | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) eNoter

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Vertigo is dizziness that is often described as a feeling of movement even though the person is stationary.  Symptoms range from sweating to nausea/vomiting.  It is said to be caused by problems within the inner ear or even migraine headaches.   

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