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Understanding Vertigo: Causes, Types, and Treatment Options

Vertigo is the sensation where the environment seems to move around you when there is no actual movement. Essentially a type of dizziness, vertigo is often accompanied by nausea and loss of balance, making it a serious and debilitating issue. There are two primary types of vertigo: Central Vertigo and Peripheral Vertigo.

Central Vertigo

Central vertigo is a more severe form of vertigo, often associated with significant balance problems and other neurological deficits. Various disorders, such as tumours, epilepsy, and migraines, can cause central vertigo. This type of vertigo tends to be longer-lasting than peripheral vertigo and may require treatment with medication or surgery, depending on the underlying cause.

Peripheral Vertigo

Peripheral vertigo generally stems from issues within the inner ear, where our balance organs are located. These balance organs are fluid-filled chambers containing nerve endings that respond to our position in space. Problems within this system can lead to 'mixed signals' being sent to the brain, causing dizziness and often nausea.

Types and Causes of Peripheral Vertigo

- Motion sickness (e.g., from spinning on a carnival ride)

- Middle ear infections

- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

- Meniere's disease (characterized by a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear)

- BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)

BPPV is the most common type of peripheral vertigo. It occurs when small calcium deposits called otoliths break off and float around in the fluid-filled chambers of the ear. These otoliths trigger nerve fibres, causing vertigo, which is often intensified by certain head movements. BPPV can be diagnosed by a specific test reproducing symptoms by turning the head.

Treatment of Peripheral Vertigo

- BPPV: The Epley Maneuver involves putting the head through specific ranges of motion to move the otoliths out of the fluid-filled chambers, thereby alleviating symptoms. Often, this works within one or two treatments.

- Chiropractic Adjustments

- Acupuncture

If you or someone you know is suffering from vertigo, consider these effective drug-free approaches. Please call our office to book your consultation and therapy at 519-258-8544.


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