John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Vertigo can be caused by problems in the brain or the inner ear.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo and is characterized by the sensation of motion initiated by sudden head movements or moving the head in a certain direction. This type of vertigo is rarely serious and can be treated.
Vertigo may also be caused by inflammation within the inner ear (labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis), which is characterized by the sudden onset of vertigo and may be associated with hearing loss. The most common cause of labyrinthitis is a viral or bacterial inner ear infection.
Meniere's disease is composed of a triad of symptoms including episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), and hearing loss. People with this condition have the abrupt onset of severe vertigo and fluctuating hearing loss as well as periods in which they are symptom-free.
Acoustic neuroma is a type of tumor of the nerve tissue of the ear that can cause vertigo. Symptoms include vertigo with one-sided ringing in the ear and hearing loss.
Vertigo can be caused by decreased blood flow to the base of the brain. Bleeding into the back of the brain (cerebellar hemorrhage) is characterized by vertigo, headache, difficulty walking, and inability to look toward the side of the bleed. The result is that the person's eyes gaze away from the side with the problem. Walking is also extremely impaired.
Vertigo is often the presenting symptom in multiple sclerosis. The onset is usually abrupt, and examination of the eyes may reveal the inability of the eyes to move past the midline toward the nose.
Head trauma and neck injury may also result in vertigo, which usually goes away on its own. Cervical vertigo can be caused by neck problems such as impingement of blood vessels or nerves from neck injuries.
Migraine, a severe form of headache, may also cause vertigo. The vertigo is usually followed by a headache. There is often a prior history of similar episodes but no lasting problems.
Complications from diabetes can cause arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which can lead to lowered blood flow to the brain, causing vertigo symptoms.
Benign Positional VertigoBenign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common cause of vertigo. Causes of BPPV include infections, nerve inflammation, ear surgery compl...learn more >>
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Hearing LossTo understand hearing loss it is important to understand how normal hearing takes place. There are 2 different pathways by which sound waves produce the sensati...learn more >>