Vertigo - Causes

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What causes vertigo?

There are a number of different causes of vertigo. Vertigo can be defined based upon whether the cause is peripheral or central. Central causes of vertigo arise in the brain or spinal cord while peripheral vertigo is due to a problem within the inner ear. The inner ear can become inflamed because of illness, or small crystals or stones found normally within the inner ear can become displaced and cause irritation to the small hair cells within the semicircular canals, leading to vertigo. This is known as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

Meniere's disease, vertigo associated with hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ear), is caused by fluid buildup within the inner ear; the cause of this fluid accumulation is unknown. Head injuries may lead to damage to the inner ear and be a cause of vertigo. Infrequently, strokes affecting certain areas of the brain, multiple sclerosis, or tumors may lead to an onset of vertigo. Some patients with a type of migraine headache called basilar artery migraine may develop vertigo as a symptom.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: cookie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 14

I had a concussion from a fall. It has been four weeks, I still have a bump on forehead, an area under my eye is black/blue and I get dizzy. When I want to get up from lying down I must raise myself up in bed slowly and wait until I"m not dizzy, to stand. Also, sometimes just rolling over in bed I will get very dizzy. I was hoping it would go away, however I've decided to call the doctor tomorrow. I really need help.

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Comment from: Mel, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

I"m 30 years old and have been looking for answers to my vertigo for five years now. I"m at the point of depression and fatigue. Along with vertigo I also wake with numbness in my arms and I cannot use my hands due to weakness for a while. I have migraines, nausea, vomiting, ringing in ears to loss of hearing, blurred vision and a constant balance issue. The doctor and neurologist keep sending me on a roundabout of tests that always offer different answers. It"s severely affecting my life.

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