Vertigo Risk Factors, Prevention And Treatment Options


The word "dizziness" may be used to describe a number of different emotions, such as weakness, wooziness, or unsteadiness. Dizziness known as vertigo causes you to mistakenly believe that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving.

One of the more frequent medical visits made by people is for dizziness. Frequent or persistent dizziness may have a detrimental effect on your life. However, feeling faint seldom indicates a disease that might be fatal.

The reason and your symptoms will determine how to treat your dizziness. It normally works, however, the issue can come up again.


Inner ear disturbance, motion sickness, and drug side effects are just a few of the numerous potential reasons for dizziness. It can occasionally result from an underlying medical problem like poor circulation, an infection, or an accident.

Associated symptoms of dizziness and your triggers might help identify potential reasons. The duration of the dizziness and any additional symptoms you have also aid in determining the reason.

Inner ear conditions that cause vertigo 

What gives you a sense of balance is the combined information from all the parts of your sensory system. These comprise your:

  • Eyes, which let you see where and how your body is moving in space.
  • Sensory nerves that transmit information to the brain about the movements and positions of the body
  • Receptors in the inner ear that detect gravity and back and forward motion

The erroneous perception that your surroundings are spinning or moving causes vertigo. When you have an inner ear problem, the signals that reach your brain from the inner ear do not match up with the signals that reach your eyes and sensory nerves. As your brain attempts to sort out the jumble, vertigo develops.

Harmless recurrent positional vertigo (BPPV). You have a sharp, brief, but misleading sense of movement or spinning as a result of this disease. A sudden shift in head movement, such as when you sit up, turn over in bed, or get a hit to the head, sets off these episodes. BPPV is the most frequent cause of vertigo.

Infection. Severe and persistent vertigo may be a symptom of vestibular neuritis, a viral infection of the vestibular nerve.

Meniere's condition. The excessive accumulation of fluid in your inner ear is a symptom of this condition. Sudden episodes of dizziness that might continue for many hours are its defining feature. Additionally, you can suffer variable hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and a blocked-ear sensation.

Migraine. Even when they are not experiencing a severe headache, those who suffer from migraines may have bouts of vertigo or other forms of dizziness. Such episodes of vertigo can continue for minutes to hours and might be accompanied by headaches, light sensitivity, and noise sensitivity.

Circulation issues that lead to lightheadedness

If your heart is not pumping enough blood to your brain, you can feel lightheaded, faint, or unsteady. some causes are:

A clot of blood pressure. You may have momentary dizziness or a sense of faintness if your systolic blood pressure, which is the higher number in your blood pressure reading, drops dramatically. When standing or sitting up too rapidly, it might happen. Orthostatic hypotension is another name for this disorder.

Blood circulation problems. Dizziness may be brought on by diseases such as cardiomyopathy, heart attacks, cardiac arrhythmias, and transient ischemia attacks. Additionally, a drop in blood volume might result in insufficient blood supply to your brain or inner ear.

Additional root causes of lightheadedness

Neurological disorders. Progressive loss of balance can be a symptom of several neurological conditions, including Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis.

Medications. Certain pharmaceuticals, including anti-seizure medications, antidepressants, sedatives, and tranquillizers, can cause dizziness as a side effect. If a drug lowers your blood pressure too much, it might make you feel faint.

Anxiety conditions. Some anxiety issues might cause you to feel lightheaded or unsteady, which is also known as dizziness. Panic attacks and dread of leaving the house or being in wide-open places are a few of them (agoraphobia).

Low levels of iron (anaemia). Dizziness is just one of the indications and symptoms of anaemia; other signs and symptoms include weakness, pale complexion, and weariness.

Reduced blood sugar (hypoglycemia). People with diabetes who use insulin are more likely to develop this illness. Sweating and nervousness may also accompany dizziness (lightheadedness).

Poisoning from carbon monoxide. The "flu-like" signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest discomfort, and disorientation.

Dehydration and overheating. You could have lightheadedness in hot weather or if you do not drink enough fluids due to dehydration or hyperthermia. Particularly if you use specific cardiac drugs, this is true.

How to check if you have Vertigo?

In general, if you encounter any persistent, abrupt, severe, long-lasting, or inexplicable vertigo or dizziness, you should consult your doctor.

If you have sudden, severe vertigo or dizziness coupled with any of the following, get emergency medical attention right away:

  • An unexpectedly bad headache
  • Chest pain
  • Having trouble breathing
  • The paralysis or numbness of the arms or legs
  • Fainting
  • Dual perception
  • Irregular or fast pulse
  • Slurred or confused speech
  • Stumbles or has trouble walking
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Unexpected hearing changes
  • Facial numbness or paralysis

Risk Factors

Some elements that might raise your chance of feeling lightheaded include:

Age. Medical problems that induce dizziness, especially a feeling of imbalance, are more common in older persons. Additionally, they are more prone to take drugs that might make them queasy.

A previous case of vertigo. You are more likely to encounter vertigo in the future if you have already experienced it.


Dizziness can be felt in a variety of different experiences, such as the following:

  • A fictitious feeling of motion or spinning (vertigo)
  • A sense of faintness or dizziness
  • Being unsteady or off-balance
  • A sensation of weightlessness, wooziness, or floating
  • Walking, standing up, or moving your head may cause these emotions to appear or get worse. You could feel sick along with your dizziness, or it could come on suddenly or be so strong that you need to sit or lie down. The event could last only a few seconds or for several days.


Untreated dizziness frequently improves on its own. The body often adjusts to whatever is causing it within a few weeks.

Your doctor will base any therapy you receive on the root of your disease and your current symptoms. Both medicine and balancing training may be part of it. Even if a reason is not identified or if the dizziness continues, prescription medications and other therapies may help you to manage your symptoms.


Water tablets. A water tablet may be recommended by your doctor if you have Meniere's disease (diuretic). This might lessen how frequently you have dizzy episodes when combined with a low-salt diet.

Medications for treating nausea and vertigo. Anticholinergics and prescription antihistamines may be prescribed by your doctor to treat vertigo, nausea, and other symptoms right away. These medications make you sleepy.

Drugs that reduce anxiety. The medications in the benzodiazepine class, which include diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax), have the potential to lead to addiction. They could also make you feel sleepy.

Migraine prevention medication. Some medications may be able to stop migraine episodes.


Movements involving the head. Epley manoeuvre, also known as the canalith repositioning procedure, is frequently more effective than waiting for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo to go away in treating this condition. Your doctor, an audiologist, or a physical therapist can adjust the position of your head in this procedure. Usually, after one or two sessions, it takes action. Inform your healthcare practitioner in advance if you suffer from a neck or back ailment, a detached retina, or blood vessel issues.

Balance training. You could learn precise exercises to help reduce the sensitivity of your balance system to motion. Vestibular rehabilitation is the name of this physical treatment approach. It is used to treat inner ear problems such as vestibular neuritis in persons who experience dizziness.

Psychotherapy. People with anxiety problems who experience dizziness may benefit from this kind of therapy.

Operative or other procedures

Injections. Gentamicin, an antibiotic, may be injected into your inner ear by your doctor in order to impair balance. That function is assumed by the unaffected ear.

Removing the sensory organ in the inner ear. Labyrinthectomy is a seldom performed operation. The vestibular labyrinth in the impacted ear is rendered inoperable. The balancing mechanism switches to the other ear. If you experience severe hearing loss in addition to dizziness, you may try this procedure.

Complications of Vertigo

Your chance of falling and hurting yourself increases if you are feeling dizzy. The danger of an accident increases while operating heavy machinery or driving a car while feeling nauseous. In addition, delaying treatment of a pre-existing medical problem that may be the source of your wooziness might have long-term effects.

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Page last reviewed: Mar 21, 2023

Next review due: Mar 21, 2025

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