Dizziness can result from a number of external factors, ranging from dehydration and hunger to severe anxiety and panic attacks. The false sensation of dizziness, which makes it feel like a person's surroundings are spinning when they are actually still, is known as vertigo. Because the inner ear helps to regulate balance, a problem or injury to the inner can interfere with the signals the brain receives regarding the body's location relative to its surroundings. This can cause a sense of extreme disorientation and dizziness, even when the person is standing completely still in the middle of an empty room. Problems with the ear are diagnosed and treated by an ear, nose and throat doctor (ENT).
Regular Dizziness or Vertigo? What You Need to Know
Everyone experiences a bout of dizziness from time to time, which is completely normal. Prolonged and frequent dizziness that is accompanied by other symptoms typically results from an underlying cause. An ENT can determine whether dizziness is caused by an injury or malfunction in the inner ear.
What Do the Ears Have to Do With Motion and Balance?
The human ear consists of three parts - the inner, middle and outer ear. The brain receives signals and input from the sensory system, which helps it to process information regarding a person's surroundings and fixed point in space in relation to gravity and motion. The inner ear contains sensors that work in conjunction with the eyes and sensory nerves to help the brain accurately process the signals and create a full picture detailing where we are at any given moment. A problem in the inner ear is like a short circuit that disturbs the brain's ability to accurately assess a person's surroundings, resulting in the feeling that the room or surrounding objects are spinning because the information the inner ear is sending the brain does not match with what the eyes and sensory nerves are processing.
What Causes Vertigo?
Infections and fluid buildup in the ear can cause vertigo and interfere with hearing. Migraine sufferers can also experience vertigo as part of their symptoms. The most common form of vertigo is caused by rapid head movements, like standing up too quickly from a seated position, or from trauma to the head. Contact an ENT specialist for persistent dizziness to determine whether treatment is necessary and to prevent complications like hearing impairment or loss.