The most important thing right at the beginning: vertigo is not a disease, but as a symptom belongs to a variety of clinical pictures. The cause is always a disturbance in the interaction of the different senses. These form our vestibular system. Most of the time, these disorders are harmless and pass away quite quickly. Everybody knows this kind from getting up too fast, playing with children or going on a merry-go-round.
However, about 30% of all people develop dizziness once in a lifetime that requires treatment. Despite its high relevance, the symptom is often treated incorrectly or not at all. This can partly be explained by the many possible clinical pictures that underlie the dizziness.
In everyday life, we call dizziness (technically speaking Vertigo) the feeling of turning or swaying. We also often describe it with the feeling of not being able to move safely in space or with the threat of unconsciousness. In German, the word stands for a number of different sensations, which often makes it difficult for relatives and doctors to classify the condition. Medicine defines the symptom as a perceived apparent movement between oneself and the environment. A distinction is made between different forms:
– Rotational vertigo
– Elevator vertigo
– Walking insecurity
– Dizzy spell
If a cause can be determined, it is often the so-called vestibular vertigo. Its causes lie in the vestibular system and affect our vestibular organ (inner ear or labyrinth) or the center or nerves of balance.
For peripheral dizziness, the unilateral or bilateral labyrinth failure, balance training is considered one of the best and fastest therapeutic measures.
Central vestibular vertigo
In central vestibular vertigo, the causes are not in the inner ear itself, but in an impairment of the center of balance in the brain. Depending on the cause, balance training can also be used for therapy here. The brain is trained to compensate for the loss with the remaining senses through specific exercises. No medication is needed and it is absolutely non-invasive.
Dizzy spells of central origin often occur suddenly and last from a few seconds to several days, depending on the cause. Often there are also significant physical limitations, such as impaired vision, swallowing, coordination and speech. Paralysis or false sensations of the sense of touch are also restricting. A directional or vertical nystagmus, i.e. an uncontrollable and rhythmic movement of the eyes, can also be an indicator of central vertigo.
In addition to diseases and injuries, some medications can also be triggers. These include drugs for high blood pressure, depression, epilepsy, migraines, sedatives and antibiotics. In addition, the consumption of alcohol and drugs can temporarily paralyze the central control of the balance. In addition, the balance can be affected if permanent damage occurs.
A doctor should always be consulted if severe dizziness occurs, especially with accompanying symptoms!