Headshot senior man with vertigo. Elderly male patient suffering from dizziness isolated on light blue background
The University of Maryland Medical Center defines vertigo as, “the perception of motion when no movement is present, or the abnormal perception of motion in response to movement.”
The problem resides in the inner ear which helps regulate balance, and when it isn’t working properly, a person can become dizzy. The most common type of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), according to the Mayo Clinic. There is usually no known cause for BPPV, but it can sometimes be caused by a minor to severe blow to the head, damage to the inner ear or prolonged lying down. Dehydration, motion sickness, certain medications and sudden drops in blood pressure can also cause vertigo.
Treatment for vertigo depends on the cause, and can vary from prescribed head movements to medication or surgery. During treatment, the medical professional will use the patient’s medical history to look for causes and will perform examination to diagnose vertigo. Changes in diet, avoiding nicotine and head-tilting exercises, which can often be done at home, can also help.