Vertigo the underestimated symptom

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Everything turns, the ground sways and you lose your grip: Vertigo is one of the most common symptoms of all and very stressful for those affected. Since several functional systems regulate our balance, the underlying diseases that can lead to dizziness are very different. As a result, the cause is not always easy to find. Dysfunction of the balance organ in the inner ear, neurological diseases and  psychogenic vertigo are the most common causes. But circulatory problems, tension in the neck and shoulder area or medication can cause balance problems, dizziness and vertigo as well.

Causes of vertigo

Valuable clues what causes the vertigo can be derived from the type of vertigo, the timing and accompanying symptoms. Thus, a sudden onset with rotary vertigo and ear symptoms such as tinnitus or hearing impairment may indicate a dysfunction of the inner ear. A vague feeling of drowsiness, swaying vertigo or an undirected tendency to fall are typical signs for neurological causes. A final diagnosis can usually only be made after special balance and coordination tests.

Diagnosis

But not only the diagnosis, but also the therapy is a difficult task for sufferers and therapists. Since not all vertigo can be treated causally, symptomatic drugs are generally prescribed initially. They are intended to alleviate the symptoms first and prevent worsening by anxiety-related restraint. A major disadvantage of drugs, however, is that they make more or less tired and thereby increase the risk of falling under certain circumstances.

Therefore, balance training is the means of choice. Through balance training, the brain learns to compensate for any dysfunction and restore a new balance. Exercise, physiotherapy or modern biofeedback methods promote this learning process and lead to less discomfort and more safety in everyday life. They help to prevent falls sustainably improve the quality of life.

Further information on vertigo and its many causes can be found here.

Author: Dr. med. Uso Walter (ENT specialist)