Dizziness and vertigo
What is dizziness?
It is a feeling of unbalance like a drunk, lightheadedness feeling without a real vertigo (turning of yourself or the subjects). Some disesase of ear can cause dizziness.
What is vertigo?
Perople say that they turn or subjects turn around themselves. Most of the vertigos are caused by inner ear problems.
Balance anatomy: Vertigo and dizziness are related with balance systems. People are conscious about position, movement and acceleration of their bodies.
It is a mixed of following mechanisms:
1-Inner ear fix the direction of the movement like front-back, side to side, up and down.
2-Eyes see position of the body and the direction of the movement.
3-Tissue receptors know which part of the body touches to the ground.
4-Muscle and joint receptors knows which part of the body is moving.
5-Central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) evaluates all the coming information from these places and correlate them.
If the central nervous system takes mixed information from these centers then person feels dizziness or vertigo.
If youy have one sided inner ear problem, then this ear sends different messages to the brain and brain is confused. This results dizziness and vertigo sensation in that person.
Which medical problems cause dizziness?
1-Blood circulation: If not enough blood comes to your brain you feel dizzy. Everybody can feel it if they stand up from lying or sitting position suddenly. But some people feel it persistantly. They probably have systemic diseases.
Nicotin and alcohol also decrease blood flow to the brain. Dietary excess salt intake, psychologic stres and anxiety can cause it by producing spasm in the veins.
Inner ear is a very delicate organ for circulation. If there is a circulatory deficiency in inner ear “vertigo” can occur.
2-Trauma: Any trauma effecting inner ear can cause severe vertigo.
3-Infection: Viruses can effect nerves going to inner ear and brain. That may cause vertigo but mostly hearing stays normal. If bacteria that causing middle ear infection enters to the inner ear causes severe vertigo and hearing loss.
4-Allergy: Some patients can feel dizziness and vertigo because of their allergy.
5-Neurologic disorders: Multiple sclerosis, syphilis, tumors can cause unbalance.
What can your doctor do for dizziness?
Your doctor will take a detailed history of the symptoms. What triggers it, drugs you use, trauma, infection all should be eliminated. Some x-rays and tests can be asked.
How can you diminish dizziness feeling?
1-Prevent sudden stand up while lying down.
2-Prevent sudden head movements.
3-Avoid alcohol, smoking and caffeine.
4-Try to get rid of stress if possible.
5-Avoid dangerous activities when you are dizzy like driving, climbing up stairs, swimming.
Exercises that can help:
Exercises can be done in bed:
Eye movements: Start slowly and made faster movements later. Move your eyes up and down, side to side. Put your finger in front of your head and get it closer and further while fixing your eyes on it (30-90 cm).
Head movements: First start slowly and eyes open, then do it faster and at the end do it while eyes are closed.
While in sitting position:
*Move your shoulders like making a circle. Bend and try to hold a subject on the floor.
Sit and stand up while eyes both open and closed. Try to hold a ball from one hand to other in the level of your eyes. Try the same movement at the level of knee. Squat down and up, turn around yourself.
*Walk in the room with eyes open and later closed. Try to climb the stairs while eyes open and closed. Try to play basketball or bowling that includes all these movements.