What is Vertigo? | Atlanta ENT Institute | Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists in Georiga
dizziness symptoms

What is Vertigo?



Vertigo is a symptom, rather than a condition itself. It’s the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning. This feeling maybe barely noticeable, or it may be so severe that you found it difficult to keep your balance at do everyday tasks. Attacks of vertigo can develop suddenly and last for a few seconds , or they might last in some cases hours or days. It can make daily tasks very difficult.

Other symptoms which may be associated with vertigo may include  General unsteadiness, loss of balance which can make it difficult to stand or walk, and nausea.


Vertigo is a symptom of several different possible conditions.

There are two primary  classes of vertigo known as peripheral and central, & is categorized depending on the source & cause.

Peripheral Vertigo

Peripheral vertigo is the most common type, often caused by a disturbance within the balance mechanism of the inner ear.

The most common causes of this include BPPV( benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), closed head injury, labyrinthitis, vestibular neuronitis, ménière’s disease, and medication side effects.

Central vertigo

Central vertigo is caused by problems in part of the brain, often the cerebellum( located at the bottom of the brain), or the brain stem (the lower part of the brain) which  is connected to the spinal cord. Causes of central vertigo include migraines, multiple sclerosis, acoustic neuroma, brain tumor, stroke or TIA( transient ischemic attack), and certain types of medication.


Treatment for vertigo ultimately depends on the cause and the severity of your symptoms.

It is recommended to try to avoid stressful situations as anxiety is known to make symptoms of vertigo worse.

A hearing test with an audiologist is an important part of the evaluation of vertigo.

The 8th cranial nerve transmits & receives both hearing and balance information from the ear to the brain.

Either, or both functions , may be affected depending on the root cause.

Further testing may include evaluations such as video nystagmagram (VNG) & dynamic posturography in our state of the art Fyzical Balance Lab.

Our  Fyzical Physical Therapists  have specialized training  for vestibular evaluation and treatment.They provide additional assistance in our multi discipline  team for evaluation & treatment of individuals in need of vestibular rehab and also can asses individuals at high risk for potential injury from associated  falls.


Written by Ryan Risley

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