Vertigo and lightheadedness are very common reasons for patients to come to the ENT surgery, and in fact most of the time as emergencies.
Due to the urgency of the event, the acute setting and the severity of the symptoms, patients often confuse these concepts. So first of all we should distinguish between these two conditions which are symptoms and not diseases.
“Vertigo is the feeling of spinning, either of the person or of the environment. Dizziness is a more vague concept that, in addition to vertigo, may also include other symptoms such as headache, nausea, apathy, tendency to faint, etc.” explains the Mr. Antonis Kaberos MD, PhD, Director ENT Surgeon Metropolitan HospitalResearch Fellow HealthSpot.
In studies that have been done, it is reported that up to 80% of the general population has experienced at least one vertigo crisis, both sexes are affected, slightly more often women, and the attack usually concerns the middle and old age.
“Vertigo is divided into peripheral and central. THE peripheral vertigo (the labyrinth or the vestibular nerve is affected) is characterized by severe symptoms with vomiting, nausea, possible hearing loss, tinnitus and unsteadiness lasting from minutes to days. It is the most common form of vertigo.
THE central vertigo (affects the central nervous system) is milder, lasts longer and is accompanied by a wide range of symptoms such as headache, apathy, body weakness, diplopia, numbness (face-extremities), difficulty speaking, etc.
A typical vertigo attack characterized by a strong feeling of spinning which coexists with profuse sweating, nausea, vomiting, malaise and a feeling of fear and anxiety. These symptoms often lead the sufferer to immobilize and limit daily activities,” he points out.
For the correct diagnosis and treatment of the condition, it is very important for the ENT specialist to obtain a detailed history from the patient and his environment.
“First of all, the duration of the vertigo should be determined. Thus, vertigo of a few seconds is usually due to benign positional vertigo (the most common cause of peripheral vertigo), of a few minutes to vestibular migraine which is usually accompanied by migraine aura and photophobia, of a few hours to Meniere’s syndrome (its characteristic is the long history and recurrence of attacks in time) and a few days in vestibular neuritis.
Subsequently and through the clinical examination, the presence of accompanying symptoms such as eye nystagmus, tinnitus, tinnitus, neurological disorders etc. is investigated, so that the specialist can be directed and determine the cause of the vertigo.
In several cases, laboratory imaging and neuro-otological testing will be required, while the Dix-Hollpike test also provides great help.
Depending on the findings, collaboration with doctors of other specialties such as neurologists, cardiologists, orthopedics, etc. is necessary. so that the cause of the vertigo can be found and the patient can be properly treated,” emphasizes Mr. Caberos, summarizing the causes of vertigo.
Common Causes of Vermilion
1. Benign positional vertigo
2. Meniere’s syndrome
3. Vestibular neuritis
4. Ear infections
3. Multiple sclerosis
4. Brain tumors
1. Metabolic diseases
2. Orthostatic hypotension
3. Autoimmune diseases
4. Side effects from taking medications (aminoglycides, barbiturates, diuretics, antihypertensives)
5. Psychological causes
In conclusion, “it should be mentioned that vertigo, although it is a severe symptom that surprises and frightens the patient, is usually due to causes that are not so serious for the patient’s health”, concludes Mr. Camperos.
At the diagnostic center HealthSpot in Glyfada there is an organized ENT department for the diagnosis and treatment of the entire spectrum of otorhinolaryngological diseases.
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