Common Causes and Effects of Dizziness
The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement to keep you in balance at all times. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires.
In addition to the sensation of dizziness, symptoms may include a headache, nausea, sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, ear pain, facial numbness, eye pain, motion sickness, confused thinking, fainting, and clumsiness.
Dizziness can also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, such as high or low blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, tumor, medication side effects, or metabolic disorders. Therefore you should always seek medical attention if you experience ongoing or repetitive dizziness.
An acoustic neuroma is a benign growth on the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain.
BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the ears loosen and begin moving about the wrong part of the ear. It is characterized by sudden, short bursts of dizziness that happen most often as a result of head movement. There is no known cause for BPPV. It usually resolves itself in a matter of days.
Meniere's Disease is characterized by long periods of dizziness, lasting from 30 to 60 minutes or more. It is accompanied by symptoms such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear. There is no known cause or cure for Meniere's Disease, although medication and behavior changes can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.
Some migraines (vestibular migraines) can cause a feeling of imbalance and vertigo. This may be accompanied by ringing in the ears or hearing loss. Migraine-related vertigo may occur in conjunction with or separate from a migraine headache.