Lexicon

Vertigo

Vertigo is a symptome, not an illness. The reasons are manifold:

A floating stone in the inner ear can cause positional vertigo, which ist he most common type of vertigo. Typically, the symptoms are caused by a lateral position of the ear or a backward movement of the head.

The positional vertigo typically occurs only for a short time and disappears within 5-10 seconds, the maximum takes more than a minute and can be accompanied by nausea. Characteristic for the positional vertigo is that it is weaker when the triggering movement is repeated. The specially trained physical therapist can shake the stones back in thei original place, allowing a rapid healing. In the majority of cases the positional vertigo disappears within a few weeks.

Migraine, epilepsy or abnormality of the carotid arteries can cause vertigo. A rotary vertigo attacks takes a few seconds or minutes and is accompanied by nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) and a tendency to fall, maybe also nausea.

Damage to the inner ear, inflammation of the vestibular nerve, small brain tumor, brain stem damage and other diseases in the head can cause rotary vertigo for hours or days, accompied by nystagmus, postural instability, nausea and vomitting.

Damage to the cerebellum, epilepsy, chronic inner-ear defects, poisoning, neurological and psychological disorders and diseases of the periphal nervous system (neuropathy) can be the cause of dizziness and postural vertigo, a shaking type of vertigo. This often goes along with unsteadyness, with or without nystagmus, usually without nausea. There is also a tendency to fall in different directions, depending on the cause.

Functionally related vertigo of unknown cause” is caused by different disorders in different areas of the head, the ear, the neck and sometimes the upper thoracic spine, for examble by:

  • blood circulation problems, anamolies, surgery, infection of the inner ear etc.
  • congenital lesions of the cercival spine (Rheumatic Arthritis, instability in Down Syndrom)
  • accidents such as whiplash, fractures of the upper cervical vertebrae, chronic muscle tension, restricted mobility of the upper cervical spine
  • operations, scars in the are of the neck and head
  • brain tumor or various vascular malformations
  • damage to the upper thoracic spine
  • migraine attack
  • side effects of medications
  • high blood pressure
  • atherosclerosis (calcification of the artieries)
  • vision problems