DIZZINESS & VERTIGO

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Being dizzy is a strange sensation, especially when it occurs without warning. Does your dizziness last longer than a few seconds? Is it having an effect on your day-to-day life?  Physical therapists may be able to help you find a long-term solution to your dizziness and vertigo problem.

Symptoms of dizziness

Dizziness can be caused by a variety of factors, including a lack of sleep, a poor diet, excessive exercise, or a physical illness such as a head cold or flu. It can also be caused by something as simple as getting up too quickly after laying down or sitting for a while. Dizziness may be accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • Loss of balance

  • Feeling faint

  • Tunnel vision

  • Light-headedness or heavy-headedness

The best way to know the source of your dizziness is to visit a doctor. There may be another underlying factor you do not know about.

Could You Have Vertigo?

Vertigo is a physiological reaction that causes a literal imbalance in your body. Vertigo can be extremely difficult to deal with because it can disrupt your daily routine and lifestyle. Even while sitting, vertigo will make you feel as if you are “rocking” or “spinning.” You could feel like you are on a roller coaster ride, but do not be confused, this is not a fun feeling!

The most common cause of vertigo is an imbalance in the inner ear, also known as the “vestibular system.” Your vestibular system helps keep your balance and center of gravity by transmitting signals about your movement to your brain. If this system is damaged or not working properly, the impulses needed to keep you balanced are blocked from reaching your brain.

Look out for these other specific symptoms as well in regards to vertigo:

  • Sweating

  • Abnormal eye movements

  • Arm and leg weakness

  • Difficulty with vision and speaking

  • Unable to concentrate or stay alert

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Double vision

Are You Living With Any Of These Conditions?

Several conditions or events can result in vertigo or problems with dizziness and balance:

Vestibular neuritis –

This is an inner-ear infection that can cause vertigo.

Migraines –

Migraines can impact the vestibular system, causing vertigo episodes that are sometimes accompanied by a light or sound sensitivity. It is possible that your vision will be impaired as well.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) –

This is the most common source of vertigo. It happens when tiny calcium crystals in your ears break apart and travel around to various areas of the ear where they are not supposed to be. This can cause sudden spinning (vertigo) and inner-ear discomfort.

Meniere’s disease –

This happens as the fluid builds up in your ear (s). This normally involves “ringing” in the ear and unexpected waves of extreme dizziness that can last for hours. You can also experience temporary hearing loss.

Stroke –

A stroke influences the movement of the whole body. If you have recently had a stroke, you can feel vertigo waves that can last for prolonged periods.

 

If any of these rings a bell, chances are your balance has been negatively affected and you could use the help of a licensed physical therapist.