Around 360 million people in the world experience Vertigo at some point in their lives (acc. to a study published in the Journal of Neurosciences in Rural Practice).
Vertigo is a common condition in India, affecting many individuals across the Nation. It refers to a sensation of spinning or dizziness which is even accompanied by a loss of balance. There might be numerous causes behind this disease. Some include inner ear disorders and vestibular migraines. Some people may even develop vertigo due to certain medications. As per medical sciences and anecdotal evidence, there has been an increase in vertigo cases in India in recent years.
Certain factors have led to a boost in vertigo cases in India. Enhanced stress levels, lifestyle changes and improper work-life balance are a few of them.
What is vertigo? What are some of the common causes? And, how can one protect themselves? Read ahead to find out.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is the name given to the condition when a person experiences a specific type of dizziness. This dizziness is characterized by a sensation of spinning, swaying, or tilting, even when you are perfectly still. It can often be associated with a loss of balance. The condition may even be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sweating, and difficulty focusing. Vertigo may not be termed a disease, but this is a symptom of an underlying condition or disorder.
The sensation of Vertigo can be triggered by specific movements such as getting up from a lying position or turning the head. The severity of Vertigo can vary widely from person to person. There are treatments for Vertigo that depend widely upon the type of symptoms one gets. There are specific physical exercises that help to improve the situation.
It's better to consult a healthcare professional if experiencing a recurring episode of Vertigo. Proper diagnosis of the disease is needed as it would help to alleviate the symptoms and improve the overall quality of your living.
How Does Vertigo Affect the Lifestyle of the Affected Person?
Vertigo can significantly impact the lifestyle of an affected person. It may disrupt their daily activities, social interactions, and overall well-being.
Here are some of the most common ways in which Vertigo can affect one's lifestyle:
Limitations on the daily activities
Vertigo can suddenly hit a person and can be unpredictable. It makes it challenging for people to engage in daily routine activities. Walking, driving, and even completing basic tasks like getting out of bed may seem difficult.
The emotional and psychological impact
The constant or recurrent sensation of spinning or dizziness can lead to anxiety, fear, and stress in affected individuals. When a person fears falling or experiencing a vertigo attack in public, it may lead to decreased social participation. The condition harms mental well-being.
Disrupted sleep patterns
Vertigo can disrupt sleep patterns as the spinning sensation, nausea, and associated anxiety can arise. Poor sleep at regular intervals can exacerbate the impact on daily functioning and overall well-being.
Impact on relationships
Vertigo can strain relationships as it can affect individuals' relationships. Vertigo patient needs support and understanding from their family, spouse, colleagues, and others. Misunderstandings may result from the unpredictable nature of the condition, impacting relationships negatively.
Causes of Vertigo
There are specific causes why a person might get affected by Vertigo. Some of them are listed below:
Some people undergo migraine sometimes, which might even be converted into a symptom of Vertigo. It can even be triggered by specific factors such as stress, certain foods, or hormonal changes.
Some medications can cause or contribute to Vertigo as a side effect. It may include certain antibiotics, sedatives, and anticonvulsants. These medicines may also affect blood pressure.
Head or neck injuries
If a person suffers from traumatic head or neck injuries can damage the inner ear or the vestibular system, leading to Vertigo.
Inner ear disorders
Inner ear disorders such as labyrinthitis, acoustic neuroma, and autoimmune internal ear disease can cause Vertigo.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Specific symptoms of Vertigo can impact an individual's balance and perception. Here are some of the common symptoms associated with Vertigo:
A person suffering from Vertigo can often feel dizziness or lightheadedness. It can even be accompanied by imbalance and instability.
Nausea and vomiting
Those who are suffering from Vertigo can sometimes even experience feeling like vomiting. The sensation of dizziness can lead to these symptoms.
Abnormal eye movement
Abnormal eye movement, also known as nystagmus, can also be caused when a person suffers from Vertigo. These involuntary eye movements can be rhythmic and occur at specific intervals.
Anxiety and panic
The intense nature of Vertigo can even lead to anxiety and panic attacks. The fear of losing balance can contribute to the emotional symptoms.
The treatment of Vertigo depends on the underlying cause of the severity of symptoms. Here are some of the most common approaches to managing and treating Vertigo:
Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
It is a physical therapy designed to improve balance and reduce vertigo symptoms. It includes special exercises such as improving balance to promote compensation and adaptation within the vestibular system.
Lifestyle and dietary changes
Making certain modifications in the lifestyle can lead to an improvement in the condition of Vertigo. It can include adequate rest, stress reduction techniques. Regular exercises also contribute to overall well-being.
In severe cases, doctors suggest specific surgical interventions when other treatments fail to provide relief. It can include procedures like vestibular nerve section for conditions like Meniere's disease.
Vertigo is a common but disruptive symptom that can disrupt a person's daily life. It's important to seek timely medication for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. It is important to note that every person's experience with Vertigo is different. Hence, the treatment approach might differ too if you suffer from severe vertigo symptoms. Consulting a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and personalized treatment is recommended.
The Author : Dr. Sunil Khattri
Dr. Sunil Khattri MBBS, MS(General Surgery), LLB, is a Medical doctor and is a practicing Advocate in the Supreme Court of India and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, New Delhi.