Most people would be shocked to find out that about 90 million adults in the US see a healthcare provider due to dizziness and related effects from vertigo. In fact, most adults aren't even aware of what exactly vertigo is.
Vertigo is actually the sensation that you experience when you feel like you or the environment around you is spinning or moving. It's not the name of the condition.
Finding out the cause and symptoms of vertigo is a key part of treating it and ultimately preventing or minimizing recurrences. Here's how you can tell if you're suffering from vertigo and what you should do if you're diagnosed with the sensation.
What Causes Vertigo?
In most cases, when you experience vertigo, it's due to an imbalance in the inner ear. However, it's possible it can also be caused by issues in certain parts of the brain.
Causes of vertigo can include:
- Inner ear infections
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo
- Inflammation of the vestibular nerve
You might notice additional symptoms like ringing in your ears, hearing loss, or high temperature depending on the condition that's causing vertigo.
Is Vertigo Serious?
The severity of vertigo can vary from case to case with some people finding it so severe they can hardly perform everyday tasks, while others may barely notice it.
Vertigo can range from being a minor inconvenience to a serious health issue, depending on the underlying cause and the severity of the symptoms.In many cases, vertigo is not a serious condition and can be treated effectively. However, in some instances, it can be a symptom of a more serious
underlying condition, such as a stroke or a tumor, that requires prompt medical attention.
What Are the Types of Vertigo?
There are two common forms of vertigo: peripheral and central. Both types of vertigo can be managed by drugs or some other form of vertigo treatment or vertigo exercises; however, determining which you might be experiencing is a crucial step in learning how to manage it.
Peripheral vertigo is usually caused by a problem in the inner ear (which plays a key role in your balance) and may be a result of Meniere's disease, vestibular neuronitis, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Those battling peripheral vertigo can also experience nausea, vomiting, and sweating.
Central vertigo, on the other hand, is caused by an injury to the brain or a disease. Head injuries, brain tumors, migraines, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and illness or infection are all triggers for central vertigo.
Can You Go to Urgent Care for Vertigo?
If you are experiencing extreme dizziness or lack of balance but have never experienced vertigo in the past, you may need to visit your local urgent care clinic. Since vertigo is merely a symptom of a medical condition, not the actual disease, a medical provider can help you identify what's behind it.
CareNow® clinics are fully staffed with qualified medical providers who can help you. With more than 175 locations throughout the country, each of our clinics is open after hours and on the weekends — so you can get the diagnosis and treatment you need for your vertigo when you need it most.
Learn More About Urgent Care Services
How to Get Rid of Vertigo
The treatment for vertigo depends on the underlying cause. Here are some common treatments for vertigo:
- Vestibular rehabilitation: This is a type of physical therapy that helps retrain your balance system and reduce dizziness.
- Medications: Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve symptoms of vertigo, such as antihistamines, anticholinergics, or corticosteroids.
- Canalith repositioning procedure (CRP): This is a type of maneuver that can be used to treat vertigo caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
- Surgery: In some cases, surgery may be necessary to treat vertigo, such as a procedure to remove growths in the inner ear or repair a damaged ear drum.
- Changes in diet and lifestyle: Making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as reducing salt intake, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, and avoiding triggers for migraines, can help alleviate vertigo symptoms.
How Long Does Vertigo Last?
The length of your vertigo is dependent on the cause behind it. For instance, vestibular neuronitis normally comes on quite suddenly and can last up to three weeks, while peripheral vertigo tends to come and go quickly.
Can Stress Cause Vertigo?
It's not possible for stress to directly cause vertigo; however, it can play a role in inner ear dysfunction. These types of ear issues can lead to vertigo attacks, with as much as 5% of adults in the US experiencing vertigo as an indirect result of stress or anxiety.
Is There a Link Between Vertigo and Dehydration?
If you've ever suffered from dehydration, you may remember feeling dizzy as a result. It's also common to feel lightheaded, woozy, faint, and unsteady — or you may experience the sensation of vertigo.
To determine if your vertigo is caused by dehydration, you will want to identify any other symptoms you're dealing with such as increased thirst, lack of urination, fatigue, dark urination, constipation, and headache.
When you're experiencing vertigo from dehydration, it's a good idea to grab a seat to avoid falling. Find a way to rehydrate as soon as possible and be overly cautious as you begin to move around again. You should also stay away from certain activities like driving and operating machinery until you've fully recovered.
To fully understand what you're experiencing with vertigo, it's best to see a medical provider who can offer a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. At CareNow®, we're open when most general practitioner's offices are closed so we can see you immediately during or after a vertigo attack.
We offer a Web Check-In® feature and welcome walk-ins to help make your visit as convenient as possible. Be sure to check out all of our locations by visiting our website.
We've also been recognized by the Urgent Care Association (UCA) as an Accredited Urgent Care Center, which showcases our commitment to best serving our patients.