Vertigo is a symptom characterized by a spinning or whirling sensation, often accompanied by dizziness and imbalance. While the underlying causes of vertigo can vary, certain types of vertigo, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), can be effectively managed and improved by an audiologist.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo is often caused by a problem in the vestibular system, which helps control our balance and is in the inner ear:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BBPV):
BPPV occurs when tiny calcium particles (canaliths) are dislodged from their normal location and collect in the inner ear. The inner ear sends signals to the brain about head and body movements relative to gravity, this helps you keep your balance. People with BPPV experience vertigo when changing position from laying down to sitting or standing up.
BPPV can occur for no known reason and may be associated with age.
This is an inner ear disorder thought to be caused by a buildup of fluid and changing pressure in the ear. It can cause episodes of vertigo along with ringing in the ears (tinnitus), nausea and hearing loss.
Vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis:
Less often, vertigo may be associated with:
- Head or neck injury
- Brain problems such as stroke or tumor
- Certain medications that cause ear damage
- Migraine headaches
Loss of balance
How can we help?
The connection between our auditory system and our sense of balance is something that is well-known but often little-understood. If you have experienced hearing loss or other issues with your ears like tinnitus, you may have noticed some difficulty balancing since the onset of those problems. The reason for this is that, as well as being responsible for our hearing; the ear also contains our vestibular system – one part of a complex structure responsible for balance and spatial awareness.
If you have been experiencing issues with balance, then one of the best professionals who will be tasked with diagnosis and treatment is an audiologist. We are skilled professionals with expertise in conditions that affect the ears and the hearing. We can also play a vital role in treating balance issues.