Is The Room Spinning Or Moving Around You?
By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Vertigo is a feeling that the room or world is spinning around you. Most of us have experienced it some time in life. It is the same sensation you have after spinning around in an office swivel chair. In that scenario, we know the sensation will pass once we regain balance. However, some people experience vertigo out of the blue, and what is worse, it does not go away immediately.
Several different things can cause vertigo. Most often, this is caused by a condition that affects a part of the ear that helps with balance and will not come with serious health risks. However, sometimes vertigo can be caused by something in the brain that may be more serious.
Are there different types of vertigo?
There are two main types of vertigo:
Central vertigo is less common than peripheral vertigo. It occurs when there is a problem with the brain. It could be an issue with the part of the brain at the back of your head, known as the cerebellum. The cerebellum has many essential functions, one of which is maintaining balance. Or it can be an issue with the brain stem, which helps with balance. Central vertigo develops if one or both of these areas are affected.
What causes vertigo?
Different underlying diagnoses cause peripheral and central vertigo.
The most common causes of peripheral vertigo are:
Do symptoms differ depending on the type of vertigo?
The symptoms of vertigo can vary from person to person. And peripheral and central vertigo can feel very similar. So you cannot always tell what is causing vertigo based on symptoms alone. But, sometimes, some clues can help.
The causes of peripheral vertigo can lead to:
Causes of central vertigo can also cause all of the above symptoms. But central vertigo lasts longer than peripheral vertigo, which can disappear after a few seconds or hours. Although the causes of central vertigo are more serious, it often feels less severe than peripheral vertigo. Causes of central vertigo are also less likely to lead to a feeling of fullness or ringing in the ear.
In addition, people with central vertigo may experience the following:
When to see a provider
Many individuals with conditions that cause vertigo, like BPPV or Ménière's, are familiar with vertigo attacks and how to recoup from them. But if you are experiencing your first outbreak, the symptoms may feel severe and alarming. It is natural to question if you should seek emergency medical care instead of waiting for the scheduled appointment with your provider.
You should look for emergency evaluation if experiencing any of the following symptoms along with vertigo:
Beyond symptoms, other factors determine if you should seek evaluation immediately. These include:
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