Dizziness and Vertigo: Explaining the Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


All our body parts join forces to keep our balance. When a part of that system is off, you can feel dizzy. Dizziness is the feeling of being lightheaded or unsteady. As a disorder, dizziness fits into three categories:

  • Vertigo: This is the sensation that you or your environment is spinning when in fact there is no movement.
  • Syncope: This is a short-term loss of consciousness, or also known as fainting. Your awareness of yourself and your surroundings are interrupted due to blacking out. Sometimes it happens if you stand up too suddenly.
  • Non-syncope, non-vertigo dizziness: This is the feeling that you cannot keep your balance, and moving or performing detail-intense tasks worsens the unsteadiness.

Dizziness and vertigo are among the most common reasons for trips to the doctor or emergency room. These two symptoms can be dangerous as falling is often a direct consequence, and the risk is higher for older adults with neurological problems and chronic medical issues.

In 2011, there were 3.9 million emergency room visits due to vertigo or dizziness. According to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, vertigo affects nearly 40% of people over age 40. The incidents of falling are 25% in adults over the age of 65.

What Causes Dizziness and Vertigo?

Vertigo and dizziness are often linked to the onset of Meniere’s disease. It is a disorder of the inner ear caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. Its hallmark signs include episodes of feeling like the world is spinning, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss.

Another reason for dizziness is migraines. Migraines are said to be a result of abnormal brain activity. About 40% of people suffering from migraines have vertigo, motion sickness, and mild hearing impairment.

There are more possible causes of dizziness and vertigo. Some causes are not life-threatening, but others may need prompt medical attention.

  • BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (common and generally not dangerous)
  • Vestibular migraine or migraine-associated vertigo
  • Immune-mediated inner ear disease
  • Demyelination
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Brainstem or cerebellar vascular lesions
  • Acoustic tumors

How Do Doctors Verify Which Type of Dizziness You Have?

To discover the underlying cause of your dizziness, doctors usually begin by taking a detailed patient history and giving a neurotologic examination to patients. You will be asked about your symptoms and medications, as well as possible triggers. It is best to be as specific as possible when describing your condition to your doctor. Are you unsteady? Do you feel like things are rotating? Do you feel weak all over? Are you falling often, fainting, or merely feel off balance? During the exam, your doctor will assess how you walk and maintain your balance, and how the critical nerves of your central nervous system are functioning.

Dizziness can be due to a glitch in the central nervous system or cardiovascular disease. People feeling dizzy may experience other symptoms:

  • Motion intolerance
  • Feeling light-headed
  • Imbalance
  • Unsteadiness
  • A floating or tilting sensation

On the other hand, vertigo may indicate an issue in the vestibular system and consist of an inner ear problem. Vertigo may include an sensation of movement or spinning. It is essential to disclose the time course of vertigo when discussing with your doctor as it tells more about the root cause.

  • Episodic vertigo that only lasts a few seconds and happens when you move your head in a certain position is probably due to BPPV.
  • Episodic vertigo that goes on for days and comes with nausea may be the result of vestibular neuronitis, particularly if you have had a recent virus.
  • Vertigo that comes on suddenly and only lasts a few minutes can be due to a migraine or brain or vascular disease.
  • Vertigo that is associated with ear symptoms, such as congestion and tinnitus, and lasts for a few hours is more likely due to Meniere’s disease.

Where Can You Get Help for Dizziness and Vertigo?

Let us share with you some noteworthy research conducted in an upper cervical chiropractic practice. Around 60 patients diagnosed with vertigo or dizziness were examined in an uncontrolled, nonrandomized setting for roughly eight years. Upon collection of the medical history of each patient, it was noted that 56 of them had experienced at least one head or neck trauma before being diagnosed with vertigo or dizziness. These traumas were due to car accidents, sporting accidents, and falling on stairs or icy pavement.

When their upper cervical spines were examined, it was revealed that all 60 patients had a misalignment or subluxation in the bones of the upper neck, particularly the C1 or C2 vertebra. Each patient was later given upper cervical chiropractic care personalized to their specific needs during a 1- to 6-month period. The results were remarkable! As many as 48 of them recovered from their dizziness and vertigo. The remaining 12 reported a significant improvement in the severity and frequency of their vertigo episodes.

If you want to see successful results in treating your dizziness or vertigo like on the study above, Atlas Chiropractic is here to help. We utilize a similar adjustment technique as the one used in the study mentioned above. Our patients’ comfort and wellbeing are our top priorities. We do not perform forceful popping or cracking of the spine to get positive outcomes. Instead, we use a gentle and precise technique that helps the bones of the neck to move back into their normal position naturally and stay in place longer. End your suffering from dizziness or vertigo. Call us today to see what we can do for you.

References:

http://www.erinelster.com/PDFabstract.aspx?PDFID=8

http://www.ucsfhealth.org/conditions/vertigo/

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Seivert call 512-352-1300 or just click the button below.

Schedule a Chiropractic Appointment in Taylor Texas with Dr. Sean Seivert

if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com.