Vertigo, or dizziness, is one of the most common health problems in adults. Anyone who has experienced vertigo knows just how difficult it can be to cope with this condition.
Vertigo usually results from a disorder or disturbance in the vestibular system, which is comprised of the inner ear, the vestibular nerve, the brainstem, and the cerebellum, and is responsible for maintaining balance and equilibrium. In addition to dizziness, vertigo can produce the sensation of spinning (called subjective vertigo) or that surrounding objects are spinning (called objective vertigo), lightheadedness, unsteadiness, and nausea. Common causes for dizziness include benign paroxysmal position vertigo (BPPV), inner ear damage or infection, head trauma, medications and diseases.
The more knowledge you have about your condition, the easier it is to make important decisions about your medical care. Below are questions you should ask your doctor about vertigo:
- What do you suspect is causing my vertigo? Why do you suspect this cause?
- What kinds of activities may trigger or worsen my vertigo symptoms? Is there anything I should do or avoid doing to help reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms?
- What types of examinations, evaluations, and/or diagnostic tests will be performed to determine if an underlying condition is causing my dizziness?
- How do I prepare for these exams and tests?
- Do you recommend that I see a specialist or visit a hospital or medical center that specializes in vertigo for my condition? Why or why not?
- What is the usual prognosis for people with this type of vertigo? In addition todizziness, what other symptoms and complications related to this type of vertigo may develop?
- Can you recommend a local or online support group for patients with vertigo?
Vertigo is one of the most common health problems in adults. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), about 40 percent of people in the United States experience feeling dizzy at least once during their lifetime. Prevalence is slightly higher in women and increases with age.
Source: National Institutes of Health