Imagine this scenario: The alarm clock buzzes, telling you it’s time to get up and go to work. You blink your eyes for a few seconds, and you sit down on the bed. After a few more seconds, you decide that it’s time to head to the bathroom for a shower. The moment you do, though, the world begins spinning around you. You sit down again and tell yourself, “Not again.” Yes, this isn’t the first time it happened. In fact, it has become more frequent that you’re beginning to worry.
Dizziness can happen for many reasons, but if it becomes recurrent, it might already be a symptom of a common but potentially serious disorder called vertigo.
What Is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a medical condition characterized by the sensation of spinning motion. It is subjective, which means that the degree of severity and frequency can be unique to the individual. It is also a perception, which indicates that the environment and even you are not moving.
It can have a variety of causes, but it boils down to one thing: something is affecting the inner ear. It is for this reason people with vertigo seek help from specialists such as an ENT doctor in Denver.
However, what’s the relationship between the inner ears and vertigo? It turns out that the inner ears do not only send electrical signals to the brain so it can interpret the sound. It also has a significant role in maintaining balance.
Some parts of the ears form the vestibular system, which is a sensory system. It is responsible for two things: spatial perception and balance. It, therefore, works with the feeling a person has when they are standing on the ground and their vision.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Perhaps the most common type of vertigo is BPPV. It stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It’s the spinning sensation a person develops when they suddenly perform a movement involving the head. These can include standing or looking in a specific direction.
It happens when the calcium crystals inside the ears called otoconia become loose. They can create “turbulence” inside the inner ear, which can send wrong signals to the brain. To be specific, when a person is still and suddenly moves their head, and they have BPPV, the brain might interpret this movement as motion. It then reorients the way the position of the eyes as a reaction. Since the individual is not moving, though, it results in a dizzying spell instead.
The Solutions to Vertigo
Vertigo can be mild to severe, in which case it can interfere with the daily activities. It can even put a person’s life in danger.
One of the first steps is to determine the root cause. An ENT doctor can perform auditory exams. It can help identify problems affecting the different parts of the ear, especially the inner ear. From this, the doctor can provide a treatment plan. This can include teaching the person various types of maneuvers such as Epley. The primary purpose is to dislodge these crystals from the inner ear.
In severe or complex cases, the doctor can recommend medications and surgery. Because the therapies can vary, it’s essential the patient works closely with the specialist.