Vertigo and dizziness are commonly lumped together, but each has a distinct set of symptoms.
Dizziness refers to a feeling of faintness or lightheadedness, while vertigo is characterized by the sensation of movement in the surrounding environment.
Dizziness and vertigo are both common, especially in older adults, and are classified as balance disorders. They are the result of underlying conditions.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES OF UNSTEADINESS
The primary symptom of dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness. You may feel like you are going to faint, and might experience nausea, confusion, disorientation, and a floating sensation. Vertigo is characterized by a feeling that the room is spinning. Additional symptoms include nausea, vomiting, tinnitus, a feeling of fullness in the ear, double vision and hearing loss.
A variety of conditions can cause dizziness. Low blood pressure, anemia, dehydration, heat disorders, bleeding, diabetes, thyroid disease, hyperventilation, heart conditions and certain medications (beta blockers, nitroglycerin) may all cause unsteadiness.
Often the result of loose calcium crystals in the inner ear. This can also be caused by inflammation of the inner ear, Meniere’s disease and benign tumors known as acoustic neuromas.
Treatment targets the underlying condition, and may include medication, surgery, physical or occupational therapy, vestibular rehabilitation and changes to your lifestyle.
If you are experiencing any of these dizziness or vertigo related symptoms, contact our San Francisco office today.