We have many expressions for dizziness in our society, like: seeing stars, being ‘weak in the knees’, light-headed, tipsy, and ‘the room is spinning’. A prolonged feeling of dizziness is a manifestation of a problem with your vestibular system and is referred to as Vertigo.
A Balancing Act
It is a difficult thing to keep your body upright on two feet. It requires rapid adaptation to changes in the environment and body position. Engineers have struggled to make robots that stand on two feet for this very reason.
Your brain rapidly interprets information it receives from your eyes, pressure sensations in the feet, sounds, and information from the vestibular system to determine its position in space. Of these systems, the vestibular system is the most critical. Without it, you are likely to experience dizziness, nausea, and you may not be able to stand or walk depending on the severity.
The Vestibular System and Vertigo
The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and has a number of components. The most notable in the scope of this article are the semi-circular canals. Inside these canals, which are positioned in several
plans, are little hairs that sense the movement of fluid. These sensations are then interpreted by the brain and used like a carpenter would use a level.
Occasionally, these canals are damaged or impeded by infection, trauma, rapid movement (like amusement park rides), or diseases such as Canalithiasis, Endolymphatic Hydrops, or Meniere’s disease. When this happens, you could experience:
• Feeling of being pulled in one direction
• Difficulty walking straight
• Trouble focusing on objects with your eyes
• Difficulty reading (words seem to bounce, float, or jump)
• Tinnitus (ringing)
• Hearing loss
• Nausea or Vomiting
• Ear pain
Getting Back To Normal
Some causes of vertigo will resolve themselves within a short period of time. Others may be more permanent but the symptoms are treatable. In short, you do not need to feel dizzy for an extended period of time.
Our comprehensive neurologic exam will pinpoint the cause of your vertigo. This allows us to develop a plan to resolve your symptoms at the root rather than masking them with an anti-emetic drug. The doctors at the Neuro Clinic have completed additional training to implement vestibular rehabilitation through evaluation procedures, biometric technologies, and hands-on applications.
Schedule an appointment today and get back to your normal, well-balanced life.
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Dizziness and Vertigo – Medline Plus
Dizziness Can Be a Drag – National Institutes of Health
Understanding Vestibular Disorder – Vestibular Diseases Association
Can imagined whole-body rotations improve vestibular compensation?
Central vestibular system modulation in vestibular migraine
Central Integration of Canal and Otolith Signals is Abnormal in Vestibular Migraine
Equilibrium-Vestibular Assessment for Infants
Review: Current treatment of vestibular, ocular motor disorders and nystagmus
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