Vertigo and Dizziness

What’s Making Me Feel Dizzy?

Do you often get dizzy spells or feel of balance due to vertigo? If so, it could be your body’s reaction to a serious medical condition.

Balance disorders make people dizzy and cause them to feel like they are floating even if they’re not moving. Occasional, minor dizzy spells are usually no cause for concern since they can be caused by actions like simply standing up too fast. However, a professional medical evaluation is in order if the spinning sensation becomes too intense.

4 Common Symptoms of a Balance Disorder

Dizziness is the most common symptom of a balance disorder. In addition, you may also experience nausea, heart palpitations, anxiety, and panic attacks. It’s critical to come in for a consultation if any of these symptoms are particularly intense or persist indefinitely.

How Does Balance Work?

Our sense of balance seemingly works on autopilot; we often take it for granted because it works in the background without us even noticing it. However, just like other involuntary mechanisms such as breathing and heart beats, maintaining a sense of balance is an important part of living a normal life.

When you’re walking around, your body is able to sense its place in space and make corrections to keep your body upright…even with your eyes closed.

Your balance is controlled by the vestibular system, which is located in your inner ear, and enables your body to understand where it is in relation to objects around it, as well keep your body upright even when you have your eyes closed. The vestibular system does this by measuring the movement of fluid through ducts in your ear to sense changes in position. Signals are then sent to your brain which, combined with visual cues and information from your other senses, helps you keep your balance in relation to your surroundings.

Understanding Typical Balance Disorders

Balance disorders are caused when your vestibular system does not work correctly or when your brain has trouble processing the information it receives from the vestibular system.

These disruptions to your balance systems are usually the result of injuries, tumors, obstructions, infections, blood pressure conditions, and even medication – especially when they affect the ear, head, and neck.

Balance disorders are often classified by different names depending on how they affect your body. Some of the most common balance disorders are Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), Labyrinthitis, Vestibular Neuritis, and Meniere’s Disease.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Have you ever stood up too fast, or woke up from an unusual position, and felt light-headed or dizzy? The medical term for this condition is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

As stated in the name, this condition is typically harmless, or “benign.” However, there’s always a risk that you could fall and injure yourself if you’re not careful, so it’s a good idea to take things slowly if you ever get caught with this sudden dizzy feeling.

Ménière’s Disease

Ménière’s Disease is an inner ear condition that causes several issues, typically just in one ear. Vertigo, tinnitus, and single-sided hearing loss that comes and goes are triggered by Ménière’s Disease, though the good news is that this chronic condition can be easily treated.

Labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis

Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis are often grouped together since they are both conditions that affect the nerve which sends messages between the inner ear to the brain. Both conditions are caused by a viral infection, meaning that antibiotics can’t help treat them, and often cause vertigo and hearing loss.

It’s important that you see a specialist as soon as you recognize you’re having balance problems. This is because treatment of labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis can vary depending on the main cause of these conditions, and in some cases requires therapy to help you return back to normal.

Medical Conditions

Here’s a list of other medical conditions that also cause dizziness:

  • Ear infections
  • Low blood pressure
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Anemia
  • Migraines
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Head injuries
  • Stroke

When Should I Seek Help for Vertigo and Balance Disorders?

You should come in for a balance disorder evaluation if you’re suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, or if you are experiencing vertigo and dizziness over a long period of time.

Leave the Epley Maneuver to the Professionals

There are several balance treatments available and some, like the Epley Maneuver, can be found on YouTube. However, you should not attempt to treat yourself since the root cause of your balance problems can only be detected through a battery of balance tests. Once discovered, we’ll run you through a series of movements to help reset your sense of balance, as well as provide instructions on how to perform the Epley Maneuver at home.

Suffering from vertigo or bouts of dizziness? We can help.