The onset of vertigo can be sudden in nature, or there can be a gradual onset whereby the individual becomes aware that something is wrong. There will be episodes of “dizziness”, spinning, or a floating feeling that the individual will describe as, “coming out of the blue”. These episodes can occur on bending down, getting up from a sitting position, or even turning over in bed.
There can be many causes as to why an individual will develop vertigo. When someone does come down with vertigo, it is imperative that they see their healthcare provider, so that a definitive diagnosis can be made, and a possible cause found. In most cases the resultant diagnosis will prove to be a not too serious condition, and thereby can be treated properly. In some instances the cause may be more serious and require specialized care. Generally the treatment will depend on the causative factors, and of course removing those causes.
Some of the more common causes are:
- Obstruction of the Eustachian tube.
- Impacted wax buildup in the ear canal.
- Punctured eardrum.
- Medication taken for other conditions.
Some of the more serious causes are:
- Middle ear infection.
- Meniere’s syndrome.
- Semicircular canal involvement.
- Tumors of the middle ear or labyrinth.
- Otosclerosis (excessive bone growth in the middle ear).
- Diseases of the central nervous system (CNS disease).
- Tumors affecting a part of the brain or 8th nerve.
- Sudden drop in blood pressure (hypotension).
- Degenerative changes that occur in any the structural components of middle ear, semi-circular canal or labyrinthine apparatus.
- Anxiety neurosis and fear of falling may also be a causative factor.
These are just some of the more usual and unusual causes that can bring on vertigo in some form or other. There are many other reasons that can cause vertigo not mentioned here. The fact remains if the symptom of vertigo does occur, it is extremely important that a definitive diagnosis be made. Many tests such as x-rays, MRI, audiograms, EEG, and CT scan may be required before a diagnosis is arrived at. Arriving at a diagnosis is the result of the negative results of these tests, thereby eliminating the possible causes. As the causes are eliminated, the healthcare provider will get a true picture of the condition, and will be more able to recommend treatment.