Vertigo in a woman

Types of Vertigo

What are the different types of Vertigo?

There are three main types of vertigo:

  • peripheral vertigo,
  • central vertigo, and
  • cervical vertigo.

Peripheral vertigo

This is caused by issues in the inner ear, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or vestibular neuritis.

A man experiencing a bout of vertigo
Man having a bout of vertigo. Image source: Canva

Treatment options for peripheral vertigo may include the Epley maneuver, which involves a series of head movements to reposition displaced crystals in the inner ear.

Medications such as antihistamines or anti-nausea drugs may also be prescribed to relieve symptoms.

Central vertigo

This is caused by problems within the central nervous system, such as migraines or multiple sclerosis.

Treatment for central vertigo focuses on managing underlying conditions and may include medications to prevent migraines or treat other neurological disorders.

Physical therapy or vestibular rehabilitation exercises may also be recommended to improve balance and reduce symptoms.

Useful article- CENTRAL VERTIGO

Cervical vertigo

This is caused by issues in the neck, such as cervical spondylosis or whiplash.

Treatment options for cervical vertigo may include physical therapy to improve neck mobility and strength.

Medications such as muscle relaxants or pain relievers may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms.

Other less common types of Vertigo

In addition to these main types, there are also other less common forms of vertigo, such as Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, peri lymphatic fistula and acoustic neuroma.

Meniere’s disease is characterized by recurring episodes of vertigo, hearing loss, tinnitus, and a feeling of fullness in the affected ear.

Treatment for Meniere’s disease may involve dietary changes to reduce fluid retention, medications to manage symptoms, or in severe cases, surgical procedures.

A peri lymphatic fistula occurs when there is a tear or rupture in the membranes between the middle and inner ear, leading to vertigo.

Treatment for peri lymphatic fistula may involve bed rest, avoidance of activities that increase inner ear pressure, or surgery to repair the tear.

Labyrinthitis: This is an inflammation of the inner ear, often caused by a viral infection, that can cause severe vertigo, along with hearing loss and ear pain.

Treatment options for labyrinthitis include medications to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms, such as anti-inflammatory drugs or antiviral medications, as well as vestibular rehabilitation exercises to improve balance and reduce dizziness.

Acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that develops on the vestibulocochlear nerve, the main nerve which connects the inner ear and brain.

It is also known as vestibular schwannoma. The exact cause of acoustic neuroma is not known. In some cases, it is noticed to be a malfunction gene on chromosome 22.

The risk factors include neurofibromatosis type II, a rare inherited disorder that can also cause an acoustic neuroma. Exposure to high-dose ionizing radiation can also be a risk factor.

The symptoms of acoustic neuroma are often easy to miss and may take years to develop. Symptoms may occur because of the tumor’s effects on the hearing and balance nerves.

The tumor also can put pressure on nearby nerves controlling facial muscles, known as the facial nerve, and sensation, known as the trigeminal nerve.

Blood vessels or brain structures also can be affected by an acoustic neuroma. Common symptoms of an acoustic neuroma include

Diagnosis is based upon clinical evaluation, detailed patient history and other tests to confirm the condition such as audiometry, CT scan of the auditory canal and MRI scan of the head.

Treatment depends on the tumor’s size, the severity of the symptoms, and the patient’s overall health. For patients with small tumors, the doctor chooses to monitor the condition and does not take immediate action.

It may involve conducting imaging and hearing tests occasionally to check if the tumor is growing. Treatment options for Acoustic neuroma include monitoring, radiation and surgical removal1.

It is important to consult with a healthcare professional to accurately diagnose the type of vertigo and determine the most appropriate treatment options.