Focus on vertigo Focus on vertigo

The onset of vertigo can come alone or come with dizziness, instability, lightheadedness, disorientation or blurred vision. Read on to learn more about this condition.

Advisors: José Mario Jalil Hincapié – Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) doctor, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
Verónica Rodríguez Rivera -Ear, Nose and Throat  doctor, specialist in Otoneurology

Balance is a bodily function that involves organs such as the brain, cerebellum, the posterior columns of the spinal cord, the eyes and the inner ear. When any of these parts of the body are compromised, this can affect how the body functions, manifesting in symptoms such as vertigo, dizziness and instability. It is important to emphasize that vertigo itself is not a disease, it is a symptom that gives you the hallucinatory sense that your surroundings, or you yourself, are moving. As ear, nose and throat doctor Verónica Rodríguez explains, “The person feels they are constantly spinning, similar to how a roulette wheel, carousel or blender spins, or sometimes it presents as a zigzag feeling.”

Other sensations

According to Robert B. Daroff in Harrison’s Manual of Medicine, from a functional point of view, the dizziness that comes with a mobility condition is classified into three categories: faintness, vertigo and feeling different sensations in the head.

Take precautions

If you suffer from vertigo, avoid accidents:

  1. Ask your doctor if you can drive.
  2. Avoid walking in the dark.
  3. Do not wear shoes with heels. If necessary, use a cane.
  4. If there are stairs in your house, put railings or handrails on.

80 is the age in which the prevalence of vertigo increases.

2 is the number of types of vertigo there are: peripheral and central vertigo. The first is a condition of the vestibular system, which is what helps spatial orientation and posture. The second is due to a brain condition.

80 % of the population has had an episode of vertigo in their life, according to the Spanish Otolaryngology Society.

When to take medication

Ear, nose and throat doctor José Jalil Hincapié explains that vestibular suppressant medications, which fight vertigo and dizziness, can negatively affect the balance of the ear system if used for a prolonged amount of time, so they should only be prescribed by a specialist. If you experience any discomfort, it is important to see your doctor.

 

Related: Understanding vertigo: 5 questions and answers