Vertigo is a Latin word meaning “to turn”. Vertigo is a symptom of illness, not a disease. It occurs as a result of incorrect stimuli from the body’s balance system to the balance center, or incorrect perception of the correct stimuli. Patients often say that they or the environment is spinning.
Many organs work in conjunction with each other in maintaining balance (inner ear, eyes, joint – muscles, brain, cerebellum). Vertigo occurs in many of the diseases that affect these organs.
The most important symptom seen in vertigo is dizziness. Other than dizziness, symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, hearing loss, abnormal eye movements, and difficulty walking may also be seen.
Since vertigo is not a disease but a symptom of a disease, the physician will diagnose according to the nature of the dizziness experienced by the patient. The physician first tries to find out whether the disease originates from the inner ear or from another cause by performing an ear, nose and throat examination and neurological examination. At the end of this examination, if he deems it necessary, he requests some examinations.
If he thinks there is a problem with the inner ear, he does a balance test and hearing test. If it is thought to be neurological, EEG, computed tomography and MRI are taken. If the physician thinks that there is a problem with the cardiovascular system, echocardiography and EKG are performed. If, as a result of the examinations and tests, it is decided that there is no ear-related disease, the physician will refer the patient to other relevant branches.
The most common causes of vertigo related to the inner ear are:
– Displacement of crystals, which we call positional vertigo
– Meniere’s disease
– Vestinular neuronitis