By Dr. Alexis Heffner
Have you ever experienced vertigo? While many believe that vertigo is a condition, it is actually a symptom. It can be described as the sensation that you are moving or spinning or the world around you is moving or spinning. Some people experience vertigo very mildly, while others experience more intense responses. Either way, vertigo can be unexpected and unpleasant.
Our ears are not only our centers for hearing, but are also our centers for balance. The vestibular system lives in our inner ear, so when a disease or some sort of insult occurs to the inner ear, we may experience conditions that cause dizziness or throw off our balance.
While there are numerous disorders of dizziness and balance, one that is extremely common is called Benign Paroxsymal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV usually results in episodes of dizziness that come and go and last seconds to minutes. It is usually triggered by changes in head or body position, such as rolling over in bed or looking up and down. There are also reports of BPPV following head trauma, such as a physical injury or a car accident.
The good news is that BPPV is treatable. There are several simple maneuvers that involve moving the head and body in different positions to help resolve BPPV and alleviate vertigo. If you are experiencing dizziness, imbalance, or vertigo, it is important to speak to your physician or audiologist. They will be able to point you in the right direction in evaluating the vestibular system and further, advise you as to whether or not your symptoms are coming from the inner ear.
Hearing Partners of South Florida
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