What is Vertigo?

People experiencing dizziness may have signs of vertigo. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common cause of the disorder. Vertigo is a spinning sensation that affects a patient’s optical view of surroundings. A bout of dizziness can make the surroundings of an individual start spinning out of control. It can occur from head movement. Standing up quickly can cause symptoms to occur.

Causes Of Dizziness

Physicians link causes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) from minor to serious head collisions with an object. Other reasons for symptoms to appear can be from inner ear damage or surgical procedures. Infection inside the eardrum could trigger symptoms.

The ear anatomy plays a significant role with dizziness. Three semicircular canals contain hair-like sensors that monitor head rotation inside the vestibular labyrinth organ. The otolith organs monitor all other head movements from tiny crystals sensitive to the gravitational force. They can become dislodged to move into a semicircular canal. This is why someone can experience dizziness from head movements.


Symptoms of BPPV can vary from one person to the next. They may last from seconds to over a minute. A sense that the surrounding area is rapidly spinning or moving is often the first one. Patients often experience the feeling of falling from dizziness. Problems with balance are another symptom of vertigo. Head movements can cause dizziness to occur. Symptoms can be continuous or disappear for weeks before reoccurring.

Treatment Options

Physicians will perform tests to diagnose dizziness causes after a physical examination at the medical facility. They will perform a videonystagmography (ENG) or videonystagmography (VNG) to detect abnormal eye movement. These tests can determine when the cause of dizziness is related to inner ear disease. The tests measure involuntary eye movement with the head moved to various positions.

Magnetic Resource Imaging (MRI) uses radio waves and a magnetic field to make images of the head or body. The doctor uses the images for a detailed view of what is going on inside the patient’s body.

BPPV can disappear within weeks or months. Physicians can help relieve symptoms currently present by doing virtual reality rehab (VR). VR therapy is an effective treatment. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy focuses on the patient’s balance and coordination with physical exercise. Head movements with balancing activity target the inner ear anatomy.

Vestibular rehabilitation goggles allow the patient to experience real events to work their way through progressive desensitization. Examples could be navigating through a shopping center or driving a vehicle through a city street. It can help a patient recover from vertigo through real-life situations from simulations experienced through the goggles.

Canalith repositioning procedure is a series of maneuvers for repositioning the head. The purpose is to move particles from the semicircular canals of the inner ear back into the vestibule. The treatment achieves results after a few sessions.

One last option is surgery to insert a plug inside the inner ear to block the problem causing vertigo. Canal plugging prevents particle movements in the semicircular canal of the ear.