Vertigo and the Different Vestibular Disorders - Ames Chiropractor

vertigo-and-the-different-vestibular-disordersVertigo is not the only thing that concerns every Ames vertigo chiropractor. They also deal with various types of vestibular disorders. 

Vertigo is an indicator of a vestibular disorder, along with disequilibrium and dizziness. People often use these terms interchangeably, but these symptoms are not one and the same. Here’s a quick definition of each to help you differentiate vertigo from disequilibrium and dizziness. 

  • Vertigo: The false sensation of movementeither of spinning, swaying, or tilting affecting a person or his/her environment. 
  • Disequilibrium: Feeling of imbalance or unsteadiness. It is more of an issue with gait. 
  • Dizziness: A broad term for feeling faint, unsteady, or lightheaded. 

What’s the Function of the Vestibular System?

The system of the body that controls our balance and orientation is none other than the vestibular system. It includes certain parts of the inner ear and the brain that deal with sensory inputs about the motion and location of the body. The vestibular system also controls eye movement. 

If a problem happens in this area and causes it to malfunction, vestibular disorders will ensue. These conditions may also stem from or get worse due to genetics or environmental factors. Sometimes they develop without any apparent reason.

Some of the common vestibular disorders include:

  • BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)
  • Vestibular migraines
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular neuritis
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Perilymph fistula
  • Mal de debarquement
  • Superior canal dehiscence
  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Allergies
  • Ototoxicity
  • Autoimmune-related problems
  • Secondary endolymphatic hydrops
  • Enlarged vestibular aqueduct syndrome

Facts About Vestibular Disorders

Vestibular disorders are becoming more and more common, which is a cause for concern to every Ames vertigo chiropractor. It can afflict people of all ages. 

According to a study, about 35% of American adults over the age of 40 (69 million Americans) have vestibular dysfunction. In addition, ASHA reported that around 8 million Americans deal with a chronic balance issue, while 2.4 million more suffer from chronic dizziness. In older people over the age of 65, as many as 80% experience dizziness. BPPV, the leading reason for vertigo, is the cause if about 50% of dizziness in older people. 

Living with chronic imbalance problems can have a huge impact on your life to the extent where you cannot accomplish easy daily activities such as getting dressed, cooking, or just bathing. Adults are not the only ones who experience this as children may experience vestibular disorders too. Vestibular.org reported that 1 in 20 American children experience dizziness and balance problems. In fact, doctors recognize pediatric vestibular disorders as an overlooked issue. Vestibular deficits can lead to problems in balance and motor development and children, as well as poor eye control.

Vertigo Types and Symptoms

As mentioned above, vertigo is one symptom of vestibular disorders. It pertains precisely to an uncontrollable feeling of spinning. Vertigo is NOT a fear of heights, an idea endorsed by a known movie decade back.

There are two types of vertigo, and you can determine which one you have by learning its cause. The two kinds are:

  • Peripheral Vertigo caused by a problem in the balance organs of the inner ear
  • Central Vertigo caused by an issue in the parts of the brain, specifically the sensory nerve pathways

Vertigo can be short-lived or chronic. It can accompany several other symptoms, including:

  • Balance problems
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A feeling of motion sickness
  • Tinnitus a ringing noise in the ears
  • A sense of fullness or congestion in the ear

Some researchers believe vertigo may be tied to mental health problems. However, more studies need to determine whether a psychiatric problem causes vertigo or vertigo results in anxiety and depression. 

Conditions That Bring Vertigo

Many various illnesses and conditions bring about vertigo, and often they are due to disturbances in the inner ear or issues in the brain. Below is a list of conditions that can cause vertigo:

  • BPPV
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Cholesteatoma

Visit a Trusted Ames Vertigo Chiropractor 

We have stated many times in this blog how vertigo can arise due to a problem in the brain, specifically in the processing and transmission of signals from the brain to the body. This can result from a misalignment in the bones of the upper cervical spine. 

Undesirable Results of Upper Cervical Misalignment

The C1 and C2 vertebrae are critical parts of the cervical spine as they protect the brainstem. The brainstem acts as the communication highway of the body where signals are relayed to and from the brain and body. 

If any of the bones located in the upper cervical spine shifts out of alignment, they may cause undue stress on the brainstem and make it malfunction. In short, the signals received from the brainstem about information regarding the body’s balance and location would not match the messages it is getting from the inner ear, eyes, and nerves. The conflicting information from different sources would confuse the brain, resulting in vertigo. 

Here at Read Health Center, our very own Dr. Barbara Read, a trusted Ames vertigo chiropractor, can employ gentle adjustments to help realign these misaligned bones. This technique is called upper cervical chiropractic. Many of our patients and those in several case studies have significantly benefited from this natural method. Most of them saw a reduction in the severity and frequency of their vertigo attacks in just a few visits. 

Make an appointment with us or visit our office in Ames, Iowa to learn more about how this unique form of therapy can improve your vertigo.