You are dizzy and you become lightheaded. You wondered if what you have is vertigo. When people think of vertigo they think of the movie Vertigo not the illness. They think that the fear of heights has something to do with it, but it doesn’t. Or maybe your dizziness is caused by something that you haven’t heard about before like Meniere’s disease. What is the difference between Vertigo and Meniere’s disease?
Vertigo is the feeling that you are in motion when you aren’t. The spinning can make you sick and it can be dangerous if you have a fall. Meniere’s disease also involves spinning and nausea, but unlike Meniere’s disease, visual stimulus called nystagmus can trigger a vertigo attack.
The source of vertigo is in the inner ear which sends false information to the brain when an attack of vertigo occurs. Sudden head movements cause loose particles in the inner ear to send these false signals. There are other causes of vertigo like ear inflammation that will also bring on an attack.
The source of Meniere’s disease is also in the inner ear but the cause of it is unknown. Some believe that it is a buildup of fluid in the inner ear where as others believe that a virus is the cause.
Fortunately, vertigo can be cured most of the time by physical therapy that has the vertigo sufferer moving his head to different positions; this causes the loose particles in the inner ear to move away, ending the incorrect signals to the brain. VRT, Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy is also used to treat vertigo patients.
There is no cure for Meniere’s disease, only procedures that help with the symptoms.
Medications such as Antivert and valium, which are also used for Meniere’s disease, have been found to be helpful in controlling vertigo.
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