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Causes & Symptoms
What is dizziness?Dizziness is the feeling of movement when there is no movement, or a disturbed orientation in space. The information that the visual apparatus (eye) sends to the organ of equilibrium in the ear does not exactly match the information stored there. The brain cannot process the contradicting information correctly and can no longer depict the world as it is. So from solid and solid suddenly turns and swaying - in short: dizziness develops.
There are different types of vertigo:
- Vertigo gives you the feeling that the ground is swaying under you like on a boat.
- With vertigo, the person concerned feels like in a carousel.
- When you get vertigo you have the feeling of being pulled up or down in an elevator.
- The dizziness is often perceived as a strange feeling that is difficult to describe.
Causes: what triggers a vertigo attack?Dizziness can be triggered in the brain or is caused by a disturbance of the balance organ in the ear. Disturbances in the perception of feelings in the feet can also express themselves as dizziness. Dizziness can also be caused by blood pressure problems, anxiety, strokes, migraines, degenerative brain diseases, tumors, multiple sclerosis or the side effects of medication. Here is an overview of the most common causes:
- Benign positional vertigo
It is the most common cause of brief, violent attacks of dizziness. They occur, for example, when patients turn over in bed in the morning. It is triggered by small crystals in the organ of equilibrium. This vertigo can be treated very well.
- Vestibular paroxysmia
In this disease, a blood vessel rubs against the equilibrium nerve and triggers brief vertigo attacks. The attacks can be suppressed very easily with medication.
- Migraines and Meniere's disease
Long-lasting attacks of dizziness are usually the result of a migraine or Menière's disease. In Menière's disease, pressure and noise in the ears make you dizzy. Both diseases can be treated well.
- Neurological diseases
A sudden and violent attack of dizziness that lasts for hours with vertigo, nausea, and vomiting can also indicate a stroke. You have to react immediately. Prolonged dizziness with unsteady gait can also indicate a neurological disease such as cerebellar ataxia, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's or multiple sclerosis.
- Inner ear diseasen
Dizziness that lasts for months or years can indicate the failure of both equilibrium organs. Virus infections such as otitis media can lead to the failure of an organ of equilibrium. This can lead to severe vertigo.
- Anxiety disorders or depression
Even if anxiety or depression trigger the dizziness attacks, it can usually be treated well.
Symptoms: Which symptoms of dizziness do you experience?Symptoms of vertigo vary greatly. They range from brief star gazing to hours of swaying to persistent dizziness (persistent dizziness). The dizziness is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as drowsiness, nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, sweating or ringing in the ears.
Diagnosis: This is how we diagnose dizzinessThe first and most important diagnostic step is the patient consultation. As a rule, our experienced specialists can narrow down the problem based on the information about the time, frequency and duration of the complaints.
Ideal: the vertigo diaryIt is important to have a precise description of the seizures. Ideally, you should keep a dizziness diary before you visit us and name the following points: first occurrence, duration, trigger, accompanying symptoms and type of dizziness (turning, swaying, feeling lifted or drowsiness). In most cases, a suspected diagnosis is made in the initial consultation. Afterwards, various tests help us to pinpoint the cause.
The video oculographyMany attacks of dizziness occur when the interaction between the eyes and the organ of equilibrium is disturbed. Usually a reflex ensures that any head movement is balanced by the eyes. If this reflex doesn't work, the world looks shaky. Video oculography is a special procedure for examining eye movements and the balance system.
The "subjective vertical"Various balance and movement tests show whether your subjective idea of "perpendicular" corresponds to reality. If you think “crooked” means “straight”, the cause of the dizziness is mostly in the equilibrium system of your brain or ear.
Gait analysis and posturographyDizziness is often associated with unsteady gait and the risk of falling. Movement disorders can be precisely classified using a gait analysis. Posturography is used to determine body fluctuations. These are measured while standing on a special platform with your eyes open and closed.
Imaging proceduresIf a neurological disease is suspected, we usually use an imaging procedure such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
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