Written by: August Sanchez, PTA
What is Vertigo? In a nut-shell, it is a sensation of feeling off balance or whirling caused by a disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve. These dizzy spells might even make you feel like you are spinning or the world around you is spinning.
Your next question might be, what causes vertigo? There are multiple causes of vertigo such as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV. BPPV happens when canaliths, small crystals of calcium, clump up in canals of the inner ear. The function of the inner ear is to send signals to the brain, in regards to our head and body movements relative to gravity, which helps us keep our balance. The build up of these small crystals can send false signals to the brain which in turn can cause dizziness.
Meniere’s disease is an inner ear disorder caused by build up of fluid in the ear. This build up typically affects one ear and can cause episodes of feeling like you are spinning. Meniere’s disease may also cause fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear or sometimes make you feel as though there is pressure in your ear.
Labyrinthitis is an inner ear problem that causes inflammation around the nerves that help the body sense balance. Symptoms of this type of vertigo include dizziness, nausea and loss of hearing. Several factors may cause this condition including infections and viruses.
Treatments for vertigo can be as little effort as letting the brain adapt to the inner ear changes or seeking medical professional help such as vestibular rehabilitation or Canalith repositioning maneuvers. Vestibular rehabilitation is a type of physical therapy program to strengthen the vestibular system by sending signals to the brain about your head and body movements. Other medical intervention, though much more invasive include medicine or even surgery.
As therapists, we can help provide effective and long lasting solutions that give you more confidence in your day-to-day activities. Don’t let vertigo stop you from enjoying your life. Come in to one of Advanced Physical Therapy of Central Florida clinics now and let our experienced physical therapist perform a comprehensive assessment to create a personalized vestibular program for you.