ZocdocAnswersWhat causes vertigo?

Question

What causes vertigo?

Think I have vertigo. I get dizzy a lot and just feel like my coordination is nonexistent. It comes and goes but is uncontrollable when it happens. What is causing this? How can it be treated?

Answer

Vertigo is a very specific feeling of disequilibrium that is often described as spinning. Vertigo occurs normally when someone is on a spinning amusement ride at the fair and walks off feeling "dizzy". Your description of feeling dizzy and like your coordination is off could be vertigo, but it is not obviously vertigo. Vertigo is caused from either problems that exist in the inner part of your ear (where equalibrum and balance are sensed) or problems within the brain. Working this out requires a relatively simple workup with a skilled physician. Other possible causes of your symptoms including central nervous system problems, lightheadedness from a heart condition, or a normal neurological response called a vaso-vagal response are all possibilities. Going into the details of all of these is not possible here, but suffice to say that the possibilities are so many, that you will need seen to figure it out. You should schedule an appointment with your general practitioner (family doctor or internal medicine doctor) first. A simple detailed description of your symptoms along with a thorough physical and neurological exam should be enough to narrow it down. From there, the organ system thought to be the problem will need further investigation.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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