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Understanding The Different Types of Vertigo

Vertigo is a sensation of feeling off-balance as if the world is spinning around you. It can commonly feel like a spinning or unintentional swaying movement. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, or loss of hearing in one ear. Vertigo usually points to a problem with the inner ear, often an imbalance. But in more rare cases, it can be caused by a problem in the central nervous system.

Peripheral and central are the two types of vertigo that are associated with the inner ear or central nervous system, which one depends on where the imbalance is taking place inside the body. Once the type of vertigo is established, doctors can then narrow down the diagnosis to what is causing the dizziness and create a treatment plan. Treatment can include medications, therapies, and if severe enough, then surgery may be an option. All of this is dependent on the cause of vertigo.

Types of Vertigo


Peripheral vertigo is classified as being caused by the inner ear, or vestibular system, being imbalanced in some way. The vestibular system controls the body's balancing capabilities. In order to diagnose you with peripheral vertigo, a doctor must examine the ears of the afflicted for any signs of infections. They may also check the individual's balance and perform a quick movement test to see how they react. In this movement test, the individual is quickly moved from a sitting position to a laying position, and the doctor will check the corresponding eye movements. The most common disorders associated with the peripheral type of vertigo is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's disease, and labyrinthitis.