What exactly is vertigo? It is the sensation that you or the things around you are spinning around. It is a false sense of movement when you are being still. It is sometimes referred to as dizziness, but it must have a rotational component to be accurately diagnosed as vertigo.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo can be triggered by changing the position of your head. It has been described using the following words:
- Feeling unbalanced
- Being pulled in one direction
- Feeling like you are tilting
There are other accompanying symptoms:
- Feeling nauseated
- Nystagmus — abnormal eye movement or jerking
- Tinnitus — ringing in the ears
- Hearing loss
- A headache
Symptoms of vertigo may last for a few minute to a few hours or even more. They may be intermittent, coming and going unexpectedly.
Causes of Vertigo
Vertigo often comes about due to an inner ear problem. Vertigo is not a disease in itself but rather a symptom of one of the following:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): Tiny particles of calcium, called canalith, often break off and cause clumps inside the inner ear. The inner ear is responsible for sending signals to the brain about the head and body movements and how they relate to gravity. These canaliths can impede proper signals from getting to the brain, causing confusion about where the body is located and resulting in BPPV.
- Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis: A viral infection is usually the reason for this to occur. The infection leads to inflammation in the inner ear and affects the nerves that help the body keep balance.
- Meniere’s disease: We will discuss this in detail later on.
To learn more about the connection between head and neck injuries and vertigo download our complimentary e-book by clicking the image below.
Here are some less-common reasons for vertigo:
- Medications and their side effects
- Brain issues including stroke or tumor
- Head or neck injury
Vertigo Brought About by Meniere’s Disease
One of the most common reasons people have vertigo has to do with Meniere’s disease. Let’s look at what this condition is and how to find relief from it.
In 1861, French physician Prosper Meniere began exploring the theory that attacks of vertigo, ringing in the ears, and hearing loss were a triad of symptoms that came from the inner ear rather than the brain, as was the accepted theory at the time. This is how Meniere’s disease got its name.
Meniere’s disease is a chronic inner ear (vestibular) disorder. It has been connected to an abnormal amount of fluid that builds up in the inner ear. It can come on at any age but is most often seen in the age range of 40 to 60 years. No official reporting system exists, making it nearly impossible to know how many people suffer from Meniere’s. The National Institutes of Health has estimated that around 615,000 US citizens have Meniere’s disease, while 45,500 new cases are diagnosed every year.
No one is really sure why Meniere’s disease occurs. Theories abound:
- Viral infections
- Autoimmune reactions
- Circulation problems
- Genetic conditions
It is generally accepted that when an acute attack of Meniere’s occurs, it results from the increased pressure of a large amount of endolymph in the inner ear or from potassium in a part of the inner ear where it should not be. Either of these can come about because of a break in the membrane separating endolymph from the other ear fluid, called perilymph. Meniere’s can sometimes be triggered by the following:
- Pressure changes
- Certain foods
- Too much salt (leading to fluid retention)
- Emotional distress
- Other illnesses
The Progression of Meniere’s Symptoms
Just stating the most common symptoms of Meniere’s disease does not give an accurate picture of the disorder. This is because symptoms change before, during, between, and after attacks. There is also late-stage Meniere’s disease.
Here are some additional symptoms you may encounter during the various stages of Meniere’s:
- A vague feeling of uneasiness
- Sensitivity to sound
- A headache
- Increased ear pressure
- Hearing loss
- Ear fullness or congestion
- Anxiety and fear
- Blurry vision
- Cold sweat
- Rapid heartbeat
- Appetite changes
- Problems concentrating
- Trouble finding the right word
- Stiff neck or neck pain
Vertigo Treatment Rochester MN
Where to Find Help for Vertigo and Meniere’s Disease
When seeking care from your primary care physician, he or she will probably recommend some type of care to rehabilitate the vestibular system. This system has the important job of sending signals to the brain about the body’s location in its environment. The doctor may recommend dietary changes to reduce the amount of fluid retained in the body. However, no matter what type of care is recommended, unless the underlying cause is addressed, Meniere’s will continue to occur.
It makes no difference if your vertigo is being caused by a condition such a Meniere’s disease or something else, the root cause of vertigo may be similar. A misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine may be the reason for your vertigo. If either the C1 or C2 vertebra is out of alignment, it could be putting the brainstem under stress. This can result in the brainstem sending improper signals about where the body is actually located. Another thing that can happen is that the ears are not sent the proper signals to drain them correctly. This leads to fluid build up and the onset of Meniere’s disease.
Here at our Rochester, Minnesota office, we focus on helping your body function better overall by correcting any misalignments that might be found in the bones of the upper neck. It only takes a misalignment of ¼ of a millimeter to wreak havoc on the entire body. The method we use does not require us to pop or crack the back or neck. Rather, it is a gentle method that encourages the bones to move back into place more naturally. Many people find relief from vertigo and Meniere’s disease after just a few adjustments.
To schedule a free consultation call 507-208-9872 or just click the button below.
if you are outside of the local area you can find an Upper Cervical Doctor near you at www.uppercervicalawareness.com