You’ve probably felt dizzy that left you off-balanced and lightheaded. “Dizziness”, together with migraine, is the one of the biggest reason why people visit a neurologist nowadays. There are certain types of dizziness that need immediate attention so, it’s a good idea to know whether you need an immediate treatment by looking at different types of dizziness and what causes them to happen. Before we jump into it, lets’ take a look at some statistics.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, there are at least 69 million people who suffer from dizziness and vertigo just in the United States!! About 40% of the people are diagnosed with vestibular disorders, 25% with balance disorder and syncope, 15% with mental disorders 10% with central nervous system disorders and 10% with other issues.
The cause of dizziness can be differentiated into two categories. Physiological and morbid. Physiological dizziness doesn’t really have any cures. It can simply be caused by tiredness, going to higher places, motion sickness. This can be cured through relaxation.
On the other hand, physiological dizziness happens when there is a problem with balancing and equilibrium. Most of the time, it suggests vestibular nerve issues or central nerve issues. Vestibulocochlear nerve, located inside the ear, is responsible for transmitting sound and equilibrium information from the inner ear to the brain.
The central nervous system is located in your brain and the spinal cord. It’s responsible for interpreting visual and physical information from the body. If there is a problem with your vestibular nervous system, we classify it as peripheral dizziness. If there is a problem with your brain and spinal cord, we classify it as central dizziness.
As I have said earlier, dizziness comes in four different types and by self-diagnosing with the kind of dizziness you have, you can suspect what kind of treatment is needed.
Vertigo is a sudden feeling of internal or external spinning sensation often triggered by moving your head too quickly. This causes unsteady balance with shaky eyes and a feeling of vomiting. Vertigo can be caused by peripheral and central disorders but it’s usually peripheral. If your symptoms come after moving, you can be sure that it’s peripheral. However, if you feel a strong vertigo even when you are staying still, it might be a central disorder.
Disequilibrium is a feeling of losing balance when walking or standing. This can lead to falling. Disequilibrium is usually a central disorder. Cerebellum is responsible for balancing and walking and when there is an atrophy or infarction, it may cause the performance of the cerebellum to diminish. The symptoms that you might have include walking like a drunken person, veering to one side or falling.
Syncope is a feeling of fainting.