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Vertigo

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by Schroeder K

(Dizziness)

 

Causes

Inner ear nerves and structures sense the position of your head and body in space. Vertigo is often caused by problems with these nerves and structures. Less commonly, it is due to problems in the brain.
Vertigo can be classified as:

Vertigo of Peripheral Origin

Vertigo of peripheral origin is caused by problems of the inner ear. It is the most common type of vertigo. Causes may include:

Vertigo of Central Origin

Vertigo of central origin is not as common as vertigo of peripheral origin, but it is more serious. This type of vertigo is affects the brainstem or the cerebellum, the region of the brain that controls balance. Causes may include:
  • Brain lesion or tumors
  • Stroke
  • Migraine headaches
  • Nervous system disorders such as Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Excessive exposure to alcohol, heavy industrial metals, or poisons
  • Injury
 

RESOURCES

American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
http://www.entnet.org

Vestibular Disorders Association
http://www.vestibular.org

 

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Balance and Dizziness Disorders Society
http://www.balanceanddizziness.org

Canadian Academy of Audiology
http://www.canadianaudiology.ca

 

References


Chan Y. Differential diagnosis of dizziness. Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2009;17(3):200-203.


Dizziness and vertigo. Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/ear%5Fnose%5Fand%5Fthroat%5Fdisorders/approach%5Fto%5Fthe%5Fpatient%5Fwith%5Fear%5Fproblems/dizziness%5Fand%5Fvertigo.html. Updated January 2009. Accessed April 25, 2013.


Dizziness-differential diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 16, 2011. Accessed April 25, 2013.


Karatas M. Central vertigo and dizziness: epidemiology, differential diagnosis, and common causes. Neurologist. 2008;14(6):355-364.


Mukherjee A, Chatterjee SK, et al. Vertigo and dizziness-a clinical approach. J Assoc Physicians India. 2003;51:1095-1101.


Strategies for everyday living. Vestibular Disorders Association website. Available at: http://vestibular.org/living-vestibular-disorder/everyday-challenges. Accessed April 25, 2013.


Swartz R, Longwell P. Treatment of vertigo. Am Fam Physician. 2005;71(6):1115-1122.


7/2/2010 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Oh HJ, Kim JS, et al. Predicting a successful treatment in posterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Neurology. 2007;68:1219-1222.


9/10/2014 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance. http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, Family Practitioner Program. Evaluation of vertigo in the adult patient. Austin (Tx): University of Texas at Austin, School of Nursing; 2014 May. 19 p. Available at: http://www.guideline.gov/content.aspx?id=48220#Section427. Accessed September 10, 2014.

 

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