Vertigo is a condition that affects hundreds of thousands of people around the world every day. To the layman, the term means nothing more than a fear of heights. In the medical world, however, it isn’t even closely related to this. Vertigo is the condition where you experience spells of dizziness where you don’t know where you are. It is a positional dizziness and can make you extremely uncomfortable. Sufferers often describe a sensation similar to motion sickness or seasickness. There are two types of vertigo that can afflict you during your day to day life. The most common is a one-off occurrence of the condition. This can be caused by sudden changes in pressure around you. Chronic vertigo, however, can also affect you. Usually caused by other medical conditions, this type of vertigo can last a lifetime.
THE COMMON CAUSES AND SYMPTOMS OF NORMAL DIZZINESS
Dizziness is a very broad term. If you have never been dizzy before, try standing up and spinning in a circle really fast. This should leave you quite dizzy for a short period of time. Standard dizziness is not chronic in nature. It is usually caused by infections or external conditions your body isn’t prepared to handle such as temporary hearing loss, an increase in blood pressure, motion sickness, or different balance disorder. This type of dizziness is easily curable because it requires a treatment of the symptoms of the underlying condition.
Another common cause of “standard” dizziness or vertigo is overheating or dehydration. This is a very common causal factor in the summer months. People in tropical countries with a lot of sunshine are also more likely to experience dizziness due to this. If you’re out in the sun for too long without protection, this can happen to you. The sun’s heat causes your organs to start heating up. If this isn’t remedied, your body begins to overheat just like the engine of a car.
Sometimes, it isn’t even the overheating that gets you—it is the dehydration. If you aren’t drinking enough water, you’re going to experience dizziness. Both overheating and dehydration can be treated very easily. You need to make sure you’re drinking enough water every day and that you are out of the sun. Direct sunshine is good for you, but not when you overdose on it.
Another common cause of acute, temporary dizziness is medication. Certain medicines and drugs have dizziness as a side effect. This only lasts for as long as you are taking that drug. It goes away when you get off the medication. This can be treated by talking to a doctor if you start experiencing dizzy spells as a side effect of medication.
Concussions and viral infections which affect the passages in your middle and inner ear can cause temporary dizziness too. These go away as the infection or the concussion heals. Since most infections last for a couple of weeks you will only be dizzy for that amount of time. Treatment for this type of dizziness is simple enough—talk to a doctor or emergency medical responder if you suffer a trauma to your head and start getting dizzy afterward.
CAUSES AND TREATMENT FOR CHRONIC VERTIGO
Chronic vertigo and dizziness are caused by medical conditions that last for longer than three months and possibly for a lifetime. Diabetics are very prone to dizziness because of their dangerously low blood sugar levels.
Another chronic condition that causes dizziness or balance disorder is anemia. Anemia is a blood disorder where you don’t have enough hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen from your lungs to your cells. With a lack of hemoglobin, your cells don’t receive enough oxygen. When your brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen, it begins to struggle. Disorders like this leads to dizziness, along with other symptoms. Anemia can be treated but not cured. The treatment involves iron tablets and supplements which can increase hemoglobin production in your blood.
Many neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and even multiple sclerosis can lead to dizziness that lasts throughout your life. This type of vertigo or dizziness is called central because it is caused by a neurological issue. Treatment for these diseases does exist, but the dizziness is almost never fully cured. It will recur throughout the lifetime of someone suffering from these. In some cases, the medication used to treat it will worsen the side effects like dizziness in an attempt to cure the condition.
Migraines are another issue that can lead to dizziness. Most migraine sufferers have them throughout their lives. It is one of the most common conditions in the USA and Canada. If you have chronic migraines, expect dizziness to be a part of the problem too. Migraines can be treated so that their effects are severely reduced. While you will probably still feel a little woozy when you take the medication at the onset of an attack, you will be able to avoid the more severe dizziness.
One final condition is called BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. This is the very definition of chronic vertigo. It can be cured in a number of ways including specialized muscular treatment. However, BPPV doesn’t affect people with the same severity as some of the other conditions. It is a very mild dizziness that can last for years. You experience dizziness and nausea most commonly when sitting or standing up from a prone position. The change in position or altitude causes your inner ear to have balance problems. This delay in the adjustment of your body to your new position causes confusion in your brain till it settles.
TREATMENT IS A DIZZYING PROSPECT
Getting treated for either normal or chronic vertigo or dizziness is easy depending on the condition you have. If you feel like you’re suffering from a neurological condition, check for other symptoms. Dizziness is a good early indicator of serious neurological disorders. Talk to your doctor immediately if you experience dizziness frequently or constantly. This can be a result of a medicine reaction or worse. Remember that, while conditions like BPPV don’t need to be worried about much, there are others that can kill you. Learn your body’s reactions and make the right calls to keep it safe.