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VERTIGO

Vertigo is a symptom, not a disease. The term vertigo refers to the sensation of spinning or whirling that occurs as a result of a disturbance in balance (equilibrium). It also may be used to describe feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, faintness, and unsteadiness.
Vertigo and dizziness are not the same, even though they are often used interchangeably. While all vertigo is dizziness, not all dizziness is vertigo. It is most common in elderly people, but can affect both sexes at any age.
Vertigo occurs when there is a mismatch or difference in the information sent to the brain from the three sensory organs . Among the three sensory systems i.e the vestibular system (the inner ear structures), the visual system (the eyes), and the somatosensory system (which conveys information from the skin, joint, and muscle receptors), the former is most sensitive and often involved with vertigo.
 
Causes-
Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and is characterized by the sensation of motion initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction. This type of vertigo is rarely serious and can be treated.
Vertigo may also be caused by inflammation within the inner ear (labyrinthitis), which is characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo and may be associated with hearing loss. The most common cause of labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial infection.
Meniere's disease is composed of a triad of symptoms: episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss. People have the abrupt onset of severe vertigo, fluctuating hearing loss, as well as periods in which they are symptom-free.
Acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor that can cause vertigo. Symptoms include vertigo with one-sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
Vertigo can be caused by decreased blood flow to the base of the brain. Bleeding into the back of the brain (cerebellar hemorrhage) is characterized by vertigo, headache, difficulty walking, and inability to look toward the side of the bleed. The result is that the person's eyes gaze away from the side with the problem. Walking is also extremely impaired.
Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. The onset is usually abrupt, and examination of the eyes may reveal the inability of the eyes to move past the midline toward the nose.
Head trauma and neck injury may also result in vertigo, which usually goes away on its own.
Migraine, a severe form of headache, may also cause vertigo. The vertigo is usually followed by a headache. There is often a prior history of similar episodes but no lasting problems.

Symptoms-
The main symptom of vertigo is a sensation that the surroundings are spinning or whirling when there is no motion. The sensation may be mild and may happens due to a certain head movement and lasts only for a few seconds. Sometimes the sensation may be severe enough to cause sweating, nausea and vomiting.
Other symptoms include-
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Dizzy spells
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Light-headedness
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Ringing in the ears
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Slurred speech
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Weakness in an arm or leg
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Double vision or loss of vision
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Abnormal eye movements and fainting
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Low blood pressure
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Severe headache
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Uncoordinated movements
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Chest pain, or rapid or slow heart rate
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Nausea
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Vomiting etc.

Diagnosis-
To rule out the serious conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, hemorrhage or tumor, it is important to diagnosis the cause of vertigo.
Important considerations include the following:
What triggers the vertigo?
What other symptoms occur?
How long does the dizziness last?
What improves or worsens symptoms?
Physical examination includes measuring blood pressure and heart rate. Neurological examination includes testing facial and vestibular nerves and muscles, strength, coordination, balance, and walking (gait).
Blood test- it include complete blood count, thyroid profile, kidney function test, blood sugar.
 
Imaging tests may be used to detect brain abnormalities (e.g., stroke, tumor). Computed tomography (CT scan) produces x-ray images of the brain and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan) uses a magnetic field to produce detailed images of brain tissue and arteries in the neck and brain.
 
Tests of vestibular system (balance) function include electronystagmography (ENG), rotation tests, caloric reflex test, and computerized dynamic posturography (CDP).
Tests of auditory system (hearing) function include pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, acoustic-reflex, electrocochleography (ECoG), otoacoustic emissions (OAE), and auditory brainstem response test (ABR; also known as BER, BSER, or BAER).
Treatment-
Treatment for vertigo depends on identifying and eliminating the underlying cause. If a particular medication is responsible for the condition, lowering the dosage or discontinuing the drug may eliminate vertigo.
 
Prevention-
People whose balance is affected by vertigo should take precautions to prevent injuries from falls.
Those with risk factors for stroke should control their high blood pressure and high cholesterol and stop smoking.
Patient's with Meniere's disease should limit salt in their diet.
 
Role of homoeopathy
Homoeopathy shows an effective result in treating different types of vertigo. It will help in reducing the intensity and frequency of vertigo along with which it will also help in controlling those symptoms arising before the attack. For example - anxiety, nervousness etc. It improves the general immunity and vitality of the patient apart from targeting the cause of the vertigo.

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