Vertigo Overview (cont.)

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What are the risk factors for vertigo?

Head injuries may increase the risk of developing vertigo, as can different medications, including some antiseizure medications, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and even aspirin. Anything that may increase your risk of stroke (high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and smoking) may also increase your risk of developing vertigo. For some people, drinking alcohol can cause vertigo.

Studies of the incidence of vertigo find that between 2% to 3% of a population is at risk of developing BPPV; older women seem to have a slightly higher risk of developing this condition.

What are the signs and symptoms of vertigo?

The symptoms of vertigo include a sense of spinning or moving. These symptoms can be present even when someone is perfectly still. Movement of the head or body, like rolling over in bed, can escalate or worsen the symptoms. The symptoms are different from lightheadedness or a sense of fainting. Many people experience associated nausea or vomiting.

Physical examination often shows signs of abnormal eye movements, called nystagmus. Some patients experience imbalance in association with the vertigo. If imbalance lasts for more than a few days, or if the vertigo is accompanied by weakness or incoordination of one side of the body, the suspicion of stroke or other problem of the brain is much higher. In those cases, prompt evaluation is recommended.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/29/2014

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Vertigo - Symptoms Question: Do you experience nausea, vomiting, or other symptoms with your vertigo?
Vertigo - Causes Question: Do you know what causes or brings on your vertigo?
Vertigo - Treatment Question: What kind of treatment have you had for your vertigo? Did it help?
Vertigo - Exercises Question: Have you tried vestibular rehabilitation exercises (Cawthorne head exercises or the Epley maneuver) for your vertigo? Did they help?