MAR 19, 2016 8:43 AM PDT

The Cause of Vertigo is In Your Head

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Vertigo is a sense of dizziness that may feel like objects and world around you are spinning about, even though you may be perfectly still. The woozy sensations can be accompanied by loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, and eye twitches. These episodes can last from hours to days, causing severe deficits in normal functions. Vertigo is not triggered by fear of height, but rather by problems in the brain or the ears.

Vertigo is classified as central or peripheral, depending on the location source of the problem. Central vertigo has a neurological basis, usually involving the cerebellum or brainstem. This type of vertigo is caused by strokes, brain tumors, injuries, or multiple sclerosis.

The more common type of vertigo is peripheral, accounting for 93% of reported vertigo cases. This type of vertigo involves problems with the workings in the inner ear, hence why ear infections sometimes trigger balance issues and lead to dizziness. Multiple components of the inner ear allow us to orient ourselves correctly to our surrounding, and when problems occur here, our whole balance can be severely affected. Watch the video to learn about the structures in the inner ear and how these are involved with vertigo.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAR 17, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAR 17, 2020
The Common Roly Poly Isn't Actually an Insect
Most people assume that pill bugs, which are more colloquially referred to as ‘roly polies,’ are insects. Bu ...
MAR 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAR 19, 2020
What's the Ocean's Oxygen Budget?
Have you heard the statement, “every other breath you take comes from the ocean?” Oxygen-producing phytoplan ...
APR 07, 2020
Plants & Animals
APR 07, 2020
As the Seasons Change, Hornet Colonies Make Tough Decisions
Hornet colonies can be particularly susceptible to the Earth’s seasonal changes. That’s why when the climate ...
APR 28, 2020
Space & Astronomy
APR 28, 2020
NASA's Swift Telescope Measured the Water Loss of This Interstellar Comet
When the interstellar comet 2l/Borisov made its first appearance in our solar system, astronomers were quick to turn the ...
MAY 15, 2020
Earth & The Environment
MAY 15, 2020
Fixing the Ozone Layer Resulted in Other Environmental Pollution
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was enacted in 1987. A new study has revealed that the ...
MAY 18, 2020
Plants & Animals
MAY 18, 2020
Sharks Actually Fear Dolphins, and Here's Why
Sharks are often viewed as one of the ocean’s top apex predators, but despite this rather prestigious classificati ...
Loading Comments...