ZocdocAnswersDo children experience vertigo?

Question

Do children experience vertigo?

My daughter (5) has sometimes gotten very unsteady and disoriented, and acted as if she was having a dizzy spell. Is it possible for children to get vertigo, or some other disorder that could throw off their equilibrium? Honestly, I worry it's a brain tumor.

Answer

Vertigo is a symptom sometimes experienced by children. It has some similar and some different causes from adults. I'll review a few of them below. Keep in mind this is not a complete list and only your daughter's pediatrician can rule in or rule out any possible cause. 1. Benign paroxysmal vertigo - As the name implies, this condition is benign and is treated symptomatically with anti nausea medicines if necessary. Certain exercises can be done to reduce the unwanted nausea and spinning. It will go away on its own. 2. vestibular neuritis - This is a viral infection of the inner ear. Hearing problems and signs of infection sometimes accompany the vertigo 3. Meningitis - Signs of serious infection will accompany the vertigo 4. Otitis Media - This is the common ear infection. If left untreated, then the infection can spread causing worsening infections that can cause vertigo 5. Brain tumors - It is true that brain tumors are a cause of vertigo and we do rarely see them in kids. Most often there are other symptoms other than just vertigo. If the other causes have been ruled out, then this can be considered. My advice is to schedule and appointment with you daughter's pediatrician so that she can be evaluated. Certain physical exam maneuvers and possibly some head imaging are ways in which they can differentiate the different causes.

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

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