A Doctor's View on Vertigo Causes
Read the Comment by Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Vertigo causes range from mild to very serious. Many cases of vertigo arise from disorders of the brain or inner ear. Vertigo causes include:
- benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV),
- Meniere's disease,
- vestibular neuritis, and
- low blood pressure,
- brain tumors,
- bleeding into the brain, and
- loss of blood to the brain.
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.