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Common causes of vertigo
 
 
Common causes of vertigo
Dizziness rarely indicates a serious or life-threatening disease, though it can be very disabling. Inner ear disorders cause about half of all dizziness cases. Of these, about half are due to the following fairly common causes:
   
 
1.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
 
BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo (sensation of spinning). It refers to the intense, brief episodes of dizziness associated with moving the head, often on turning over in bed or sitting up in the morning. It occurs when particles break loose and fall into the wrong part of the semicircular canals in the inner ear. This gives a false sensation of spinning. The cause of BPPV is not known, but it may be a natural result of aging, and can come with head trauma.
   
 
   
 
Symptoms
 
-
Sudden and intense vertigo (sensation of spinning) provoked by change in head posture
 
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Short duration: lasts less than 1 minute
   
 
Incidence
 
-
BPPV can be found in any age group, especially for those who experience post mild head trauma
 
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It is the No. 1 cause of dizziness in individual age 60 or above
 
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The incidence is greater in women than men
   
 
Diagnosis
 
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Complete audiological assessments
 
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Hallpike test
   
 
Treatment & Management
 
-
Canalith Repositioning
   
 
2.
Meniere's Disease
 
Meniere's disease is one of the disorder of the inner ear, and it may have something to do with fluid in canals of the inner ear. Meniere's disease is a "chronic" problem, which means that it lasts a long time. Although it can be troublesome, Meniere's is not contagious and it isn't fatal. Attacks usually last from 20 minutes to 2 hours or longer. Following a severe attack, most people find that they are exhausted and must sleep for several hours. Meniere's disease usually occurs in only one ear, and it affects both ears in only about 30% of patients. The majority of people with Meniere's disease are over 40 years of age, with equal distribution between males and females. The cause of Meniere's disease is unknown.
   
 
Symptoms
 
-
Dizziness: This kind of dizziness is described as a spinning feeling and may cause problems with balance like feeling unstable while walking. Some people feel nauseated and vomit during an attack due to the spinning feeling.
 
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Sensation of fullness in ears
 
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Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
 
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Fluctuating hearing loss (low tone)
   
 
Prevalence
 
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Studies have shown that Meniere's disease affects about 2/1000.
 
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the Framingham study found that 2/100 people believe they have Meniere's disease in the US, suggesting that there is considerable chance of misdiagnosis.
 
-

People aged above 40 have higher chance to be affected.

 
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Both women and men have equal chance to be affected.
   
 
Diagnosis
 
-
ENT examination
 
-
Comprehensive audiological assessments
 
-
Imaging: CT scan or MRI
   
 
Treatment & Management
 
At present, there is no cure for Meniere's disease, but there are ways to manage the condition and help control symptoms:
   
 
-
Medication
 
-
It helps to control the symptoms
   
 
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Diet
 
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Since the disease is a result of a problem with fluid in canals of the inner ear, you may have to limit your salt intake. Controlling the level of salt in your body will indirectly control the amount of fluid in the inner ear canals.
 
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Limit the intake of caffeine and alcohol, and quit smoking if you smoke. Your doctor can prescribe medicines to help with feelings of dizziness and nausea. These medicines may cause you to feel sleepy.
   
 
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Hearing aid fitting
 
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Hearing aid fitting is necessary for patients with hearing problems
   
 
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Vestibular rehabilitation program
   
 
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Stress management
 
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Since stress may cause an attack, it's better to learn how to limit the stress in your life or learn how to deal with stress.
   
 
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Surgery
 
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When attacks can't be controlled by diet or medicines, surgery may be necessary.
   
  Attention: Coping with the attacks
 
During an attack, you should try to lie flat on a surface that doesn't move, such as the floor. To cope with the dizziness, keep your eyes aimed at an object that doesn't move. Don't eat or drink much, so you will be less likely to vomit. When the symptoms go away, get up slowly. You may feel very sleepy and want to sleep for several hours after an attack. If you keep vomiting for more than 24 hours and can't keep down any liquids, call your doctor for medicine to help control the vomiting.
   
 
3.
Vestibular Neuronitis
 
It is the second most common cause of vertigo. The inflammations of the inner ear can cause sudden, intense vertigo which may persist for several days, with nausea and vomiting. They can be very disabling, requiring bed rest. Fortunately, vestibular neuronitis generally subsides and clears up on its own in 1 to 3 months for approximately 2/3 of patients. The causes can be viral infection or toxic & allergic agents (seasonal aspects).
 
 
    Part of the above contents is adapted from the American Academy of Family Physicians
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