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Vertigo is a type of dizziness, where there is a feeling of motion when one is stationary. The symptoms are due to a dysfunction of thevestibular system in the inner ear. It is often associated with nauseaand vomiting as well as difficulties standing or walking.

The most common causes are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and vestibular migraine while less common causes include Ménière’s disease and vestibular neuritis.Consumption of too much ethanol (alcoholic beverages) can also cause notorious symptoms of vertigo.

Vertigo is classified into either peripheral or central depending on the location of the dysfunction of the vestibular pathway.


Vertigo caused by problems with the inner ear or vestibular system is called “peripheral”, “otologic” or “vestibular”. The most common cause is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) but other causes include Ménière’s disease,superior canal dehiscence syndrome, labyrinthitis and visual vertigo.
Any cause of inflammation such as common cold, influenza, and bacterial infections may cause transient vertigo if they involve the inner ear, as may chemical insults (e.g.,aminoglycosides) or physical trauma (e.g., skull fractures). Motion sickness is sometimes classified as a cause of peripheral vertigo.


If vertigo arises from the balance centers of the brain, it is usually milder, and has accompanying neurologic deficits, such as slurred speech, double vision orpathologic nystagmus. Brain pathology can cause a sensation of disequilibriumwhich is an off-balance sensation.

A number of conditions that involve the central nervous system may lead to vertigo including: migraine headaches, lateral medullary syndrome, multiple sclerosis.

Vertigo is a sensation of spinning while stationary. [5] It is commonly associated with vomiting or nausea, unsteadiness, and excessive perspiration. Many people (80%) experience recurrent episodes that impair their quality of life.

Blurred vision, difficulty speaking, a lowered level of consciousness, and hearing loss may also occur. Central nervous system disorders may lead to

permanent symptoms.

A number of specific conditions can cause vertigo. In the elderly however the condition is often multifactorial.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is brief periods of vertigo ( less than one minute ) which occur with change in position. It is the most common cause of vertigo.It occurs in 0.6% of the population yearly with 10% having an attack during their lifetime.It is believed to be due to a mechanical malfunction of the inner ear.[2] BPPV can be effectively treated with repositioning movements.

Vestibular migraine

Vestibular migraine is the association of vertigo and migraines.[2] It is the second most frequent cause of recurrent vertigo with a lifetime occurrence rate of about 1%.

Ménière’s disease

Ménière’s disease frequently presents with vertigo in combination with ringing in the ears, a feeling of pressure or fullness, severe nausea or vomiting, and hearing loss. As the disease worsens, hearing loss will progress.

Vestibular neuritis

Vestibular neuritis presented with severe vertigo.[2] It is believed to be caused by a viral infection of the inner ear. Persisting balance problems may remain in 30% of people affected.

Motion sickness

Motion sickness is one of the biggest symptoms of vertigo and it develops most often in persons with inner ear problems. The feeling of dizziness and lightheadedness is often accompanied by nystagmus. This is when the eyes rapidly jerk to one side and then slowly find their way back to the original position. During a single episode of vertigo, this action will occur repeatedly. Symptoms can fade while sitting still with the eyes closed.