Causes of Vertigo

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Woman with dizziness

Suffering With Vertigo Is Disabling, But It Does’nt Need To Be

If you suffer from vertigo or dizziness, you will want to read this powerful report about the disorder, the danger and risks associated with common drug treatments, and safe non-drug options.

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So, You Suffer from Dizziness and or Vertigo Symptoms?

Vertigo symptoms and dizziness are the third most frequent reason people seek medical attention. Unfortunately, these conditions challenge doctors and frustrate patients because they have many causes and until now, few good treatments. Helping doctors and their patients pinpoint the causes of vertigo symptoms and dizziness and finding effective cures is the reason we have established the Jersey Shore Regional Center for Vertigo, Dizziness, Dystonia and ADD ADHD. Dr. Scopelliti is expert in the field of vertigo symptoms and dizziness as well as imbalance. We can find the cause and the cure for each patient who suffers from vertigo symptoms dizziness and imbalance.  Dr. A. R. Scopelliti works almost exclusively with patients who suffer from conditions such as dizziness or vertigo. In fact, nearly 1/3 of his patients are referred by local medical doctors. Many patients come to Dr. Scopelliti after trying several treatment options, without success.

If you or someone you love suffers from vertigo symptoms, dizziness or imbalance, please proceed to the free offer section below. We can help restore their health and quality of life.

Dizziness Causes, Vertigo Symptoms And Treatment For Patients with Vertigo And Dizziness

So, you have vertigo and are dizzy…

About 80% of our practice time is spent treating patients with vertigo symptoms and treating patients with chronic dizziness causes.  Most of these patients have failed conventional medical therapies and come to our office in hope of their dizziness cure, typically as a last resort before giving up all hope.  Most have been misdiagnosed with labyrinthitis and given Meclizine as a course of drug treatment for vertigo, destined to fail.  Worse still, Meclizine increases the probability of a fall associated with imbalance significantly, thus increasing morbidity associated with a fall from unexpected balance loss associated with Meclizine drug therapy, prescribed inappropriately as treatment of dizziness.  Unfortunately, this is currently the accepted medical approach to treatment of vertigo and treatment of dizziness.  Most of these patients, following failed therapy, will report to our office for evaluation, either by referral or other.  Fortunately, the vast majority of these patients do report improvement of dizziness and improvement of vertigo symptoms within two or three visits, with most achieving complete recovery within 3-5 visits.  On average, our patients report seeing 6 medical specialists prior to visiting us.  They typically have a roster of lab tests, such as MRI, audiology, and many other less than comfortable tests.  Reference comments in our guest book on What Patients Have To Say, on Google, or on our Facebook page.

If this describes you or someone you love, then we invite you to come in for a free consultation, one on one with the doctor, no cost, no obligations.  Just discuss your situation and get answers to questions that you may have prior to considering treatment of your vertigo symptoms and dizziness.  We will also provide you with a free balance and stability/fall risk assessment. (Reference Our Vestibular Laboratory; CAPS assessment).

Vertigo Symptoms, Dizziness and Imbalance Sufferers –

Balance disorders are currently the leading cause of falls, and falls are the leading cause of accidental injuries and deaths.

For those of you who would like to know more regarding various causes of vertigo and dizziness, read on…

Common Balance Conditions Which Are Commonly Confused

Vertigo Symptoms

Vertigo symptoms are always associated with a “spinning” sensation. Nausea and vomiting are typical.

Disequilibrium and Imbalance

Disequilibrium, or imbalance, is never associated with the spinning sensation associated with vertigo symptoms.  Typically associated with a “drunken” gait and sense of balance loss. Nausea and vomiting can also occur with Disequilibrium and imbalance.

Dizziness Symptoms

Dizziness symptoms are typically associated with a “lightheadedness”, (like head congestion associated with allergies/cold), or a feeling of being close to passing out. Nausea and vomiting can also occur with dizziness.  This is most often confused with vertigo symptoms and disequilibrium/imbalance.

Untreated vertigo invariably leads to dizziness and dysequilibrium due to central compensation of the nervous system.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, (BPPV; Positional Vertigo; Benign Positional Vertigo; Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo), The Most Common Of Dizziness Causes

By far, the most common cause of vertigo symptoms is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, commonly abbreviated BPPV.  Unfortunately, it is also the easiest cause of vertigo symptoms and dizziness to manage and in reality, the most commonly mismanaged.  Positional vertigo, or BPPV, is most often treated, inappropriately, with drug therapy.  Positional vertigo/BPPV cannot be treated with drug therapy, leaving those afflicted with the condition frustrated after being given medication, typically a vestibular suppressant, (Meclizine, aka Antivert), only to find that their dizziness and imbalance symptoms oftentimes become worse. This is due to the fact that a vestibular suppressant is going to do just that, suppress the vestibular system.  In doing so, you decrease your ability to maintain balance, and increase your likelihood to lose you balance, i.e. fall.  So now you have two problems, vertigo symptoms and imbalance, or dysequilibrium. This invariably leads to a fall. Falls are among the leading cause of death and nonfatal unintentional injuries, in all age groups.  Treatment of positional vertigo, (BPPV), with drug therapy is therefore inappropriate and destined to fail.

What is BPPV/Positional Vertigo?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, (BPPV), causes vertigo symptoms due to debris, (otoconia), within the semicircular canal of the inner ear. Small crystals of calcium carbonate, derived from structures in the ear called otoliths become damaged by head injury, (Motor vehicle accidents #1 cause), infection, or other disorder of the inner ear, or degenerated because of age.

Symptoms of BPPV/positional vertigo invariably include a spinning sensation, (vertigo symptoms), typically associated with head movements.  However, the presence of same does not necessarily mean a diagnosis of positional vertigo/BPPV.  As many disorders cause similar findings of vertigo symptoms or dizziness symptoms, we always examine prior to treating.

Treatment for Vertigo, (BPPV), and the Epley Maneuver

Treatment of positional vertigo/BPPV is fast, efficacious and painless, if performed by someone properly trained to treat vertigo and dizziness.  The vast majority of our patients with positional vertigo/BPPV no longer exhibit vertigo or dizziness symptoms within 1-2 treatments.  Less then 5% have had recurrence of vertigo symptoms, and even they were successfully free of vertigo or dizziness symptoms with additional treatment.  As with all vertigo type disorders, occasionally follow-up treatment is advisable to correct associated dizziness symptoms and imbalance or disequilibrium caused by the episodes of vertigo.

It should also be noted that treatment of vertigo symptoms provided by those less than adequately trained to treat vertigo symptoms, will provide less than adequate outcomes.  Very few practitioners are trained in performing the Epley maneuver, and are not trained to provide vertigo exercises such as neurologic and vestibular rehabilitation therapy. Further, self treatments, often available off the internet, or from friends who know a friend who has a brother whose sister had similar vertigo symptoms… often just antagonize vertigo symptoms, which increases imbalance.  Treatments for this disorder by necessity are exacting, and if not performed as such, they will just antagonize and thus amplify vertigo symptoms and imbalance.  You can see that this is less than desirable. While the Epley maneuver is one of several maneuvers used to treat BPPV, there are several others. There are different maneuvers used for different labyrinthine canals afflicted. Performing the incorrect maneuver for a particular canal affliction simply causes undue vertigo without resolution. Making this even more complex,with some rare variants of BPPV, particular maneuvers need to be performed simply to relocate otoconial debris before it can be removed with a separate and distinct followup maneuver.

Vestibular neuritis and Vestibular Neuronitis

Vestibular neuritis is essentially an inflammation of the inner ear.  Although invariably medical treatment involves drug therapy, this will not treat the symptoms of imbalance, dizziness and vertigo symptoms.  There may be some initial suppression of vertigo symptoms associated with drug treatment for vertigo, but over time, symptoms typically worsen, with increased dizziness and imbalance.  Vertigo exercises specific to the vestibular neuritis are the recommended treatment for vertigo of this type.  Few providers are trained to perform the specific types of vertigo exercises which we perform routinely in our office.

Other Cause of Dizziness and Vertigo Symptom Type Disorders

As vertigo symptoms can be caused by anything affecting the natural left to right balance of input from the inner ears to the brain, it is imperative that a proper examination be performed prior to the undertaking of any treatment of vertigo symptoms. Most patients with vertigo symptoms and dizziness are mistreated with drug therapy, only to find their dizziness worsening. Vertigo symptoms and dizziness disorders can only be properly treated thought proper vestibular rehabilitation, and this must be performed in accordance with the actual loss for beneficial results to occur.  As dizziness and imbalance are commonly caused by vertigo symptoms, a complete course of treatment should address those afflicted with dizziness or vertigo symptoms.

Perilymph Fistula; As a Cause of Dizziness and Vertigo Symptoms

Perilymph fistula is in essence a defect in the oval window, (the small membrane that separates the middle ear from the inner ear). Changes in middle ear pressure will directly affect the inner ear thus causing vertigo symptoms.  Symptoms of a perilymph fistula include episodic vertigo. Head trauma is the most common cause of perilymph fistulas as a cause of vertigo, or, following rapid changes in atmospheric pressure.  Treatment is based on accurate diagnosis and can usually be successful in a single visit.  Occasionally follow-up treatment is advisable to correct associated dizziness and disequilibrium caused by the vertigo induced from a  perilymph fistula.

Ménière’s Disease; As a Cause of Dizziness and Vertigo Symptoms

Meniere’s Disease is a disorder characterized by episodic vertigo, dizziness and tinnitus, (ringing in the ear), and progressive hearing loss, usually but not always in one ear. It is caused by an increase in volume of the endolymphatic fluid and thus pressure in the inner ear.  Meniere’s Disease is thus also called endolymphatic hydrops and remains a profound cause of vertigo symptoms.  There is no known cure for Meniere’s Disease.   Ménière’s management can be afforded through specific Meniere’s dietary measures, and using specific vestibular rehabilitative techniques, specific to the expression of symptomatology.  Using this approach, symptoms of vertigo and dizziness can be reduced and often relinquished. (Reference our Meniere’s diet page)

Other Dizziness Causes

Dizziness, ironic as it may be, is the number one side affect of any drug that you look up in the PDR. (Physician’s Desk Reference), including Antivert, (meclizine), the number one prescribed drug for treatment of vertigo symptoms and for dizziness symptoms.  Dizziness can be a complication to cardiac disorders, a complication of aging, associated with a motor vehicle accident, and associated with many neurologic disorders.  Many patients suffering with dizziness can be managed conservatively without drugs depending on the underlying cause.

Our sensation of balance is derived from all of the sensory inputs to the brain. Visual input from the eyes gives the brain information regarding body position relative to the external environment. The inner ears are composed of the semicircular canals and the otolith organs, (vestibular labyrinths). The semicircular canals detect angular acceleration of the head and the otolith organs detect linear acceleration of the head. The semicircular canals are oriented in the x, y and z planes, (pitch, roll & yaw), so that head motion occurring within those planes will stimulate or inhibit sensory input leading from the semicircular canals toward the brain. The muscles in our legs, back and neck are always correcting, continually contracting and relaxing depending on the earth’s gravitational field and the contour of the terrain we find ourselves in. The constant change in the state of the contraction of these muscles is reported back to the brain. This kind of input is referred to as proprioceptive input. The brain uses the visual , inner ear and proprioceptive inputs to allow us to perceive a sense of balance.

Dizziness can occur from disorders of central regulation, from cardiac disorders and from other body systems as well.

Vasovagal Disorder; As a Cause of Dizziness and Vertigo Symptoms

A common cardiac cause of dizziness is vasovagal syndrome, or, presyncope, (almost fainting).  Dizziness associated with presyncope occurs when an individual lies down, and the carotid stretch reflex sends a message to the brain to tell the heart to slow down, as blood flows naturally into the head in this position.  Upon standing up, the same reflex now triggers the heart to increase its rate so that blood can be efficaciously pumped up to the head.  In patients with vasovagal disorder/presyncope, this reflex is delayed, causing a dizziness called presyncope.  Presyncope is a feeling that you are about to pass out.  This occurs because it is taking to long to get blood to the head.  Presyncope dizziness is easily corrected, when properly diagnosed.

Panic Disorder and Anxiety Disorder

By definition, a panic attack is an event of fear.  The fear may be real, or in most instances, not real.  However, the brains reaction is very real with an autonomic reaction of “Fright, Fight, Flight”.  As with real fear, this is accompanied by palpitations, (pounding heart) tachycardia, (accelerated heart rate), chest pain, sweating, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, hot flashes and parasthesias, (numbness and tingling typically at the limbs, or lips).  More serious reactions can involve vasovagal presyncope, (almost fainting), or, syncope, (fainting).

Proper management always depends on proper diagnosis.  Dizziness often has multiple causative factors and treatment can be more difficult than with other forms of balance disorder, but as each cause is isolated and rehabilitated, success can be achieved.

Reference Accounts

Please reference actual testimonials on our What Patients Have To Say page. All comment posts are from real patients.  All letters are authentic, having been posted by patients themselves.

Dr. Scopelliti is a Functional Neurologist in Monmouth County NJ.