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You might be familiar with the popular song “Vertigo” by U2, but chances are you don’t know a lot about the actual health condition called vertigo.
According to an entry on MedlinePlus, which is a service of the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. National Library of Medicine, “vertigo is a sensation of motion or spinning that is often described as dizziness.”
However, don’t confuse vertigo with being a little dizzy or light-headed. According to MedlinePlus, “people with vertigo feel as though they are actually spinning or moving, or that the world is spinning around them.” The condition vertigo comes in two types –- one is associated with the brain and the other is associated with problems in the inner ear.
The inner ear has an area that takes care of balance, and if that is negatively affected, then peripheral vertigo can happen, according to MedlinePlus. Peripheral vertigo can also occur if the vestibular nerve is damaged. If the brainstem or cerebellum are injured, then central vertigo can occur.
Different injuries or other health conditions to these parts of the body that are affected can then lead to vertigo. For example, inflammation of the vestibular nerve can lead to vertigo, or migraines and seizures could lead to vertigo (both conditions affect the brainstem).
Meniere’s disease can also cause vertigo, and it is characterized by hearing loss and ringing in the ears, as well as vertigo, according to www.emedicinehealth.com.
An entry on a website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that Meniere’s disease is associated with swollen canals in the inner ear, but the cause is generally unknown. Risk factors can include having a middle ear infection, head injury, syphilis, allergies, alcohol use, fatigue, having a viral illness, respiratory infection, smoking, stress and taking some medications like aspirin.