- Vertigo is an illusion of displacement of the environment around oneself or displacement of oneself in space.
- Several factors, more or less serious, can trigger vertigo and dizziness.
Feeling of imbalance, instability or falling… dizziness takes different forms but is common since it affects nearly 40% of people over 40 at least once in their life.
In reality, real vertigo must be differentiated from occasional dizziness. This is because where vertigo can lead to vomiting and nausea, dizziness results more from loss of balance. However, several factors can cause them.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common of all vertigos: it is triggered by movements and changes in position of the head, and is due to a detachment of small calcium crystals (otholites). Located in the inner ear, they will accumulate in a semicircular canal and give a false sensation of movement to the brain, hence the impression that everything revolves around itself.
Second disorder responsible for most diagnosed vertigo: vestibular neuritis. It refers to an inflammation of the vestibular nerve, most often of viral origin, and is expressed by a single major dizzying attack (lasting several days) with nausea and vomiting, which prevents you from getting up.
Finally, Ménière’s vertigo mainly concerns people with a particular psychological context (suffering from stress, anxiety, emotional shock, obsessive disorders, etc.). This disease is very rare since it affects only about 0.2% of the population and causes severe, rotating vertigo attacks, lasting 2 to 3 hours, which are accompanied by intense neurovegetative signs (nausea, vomiting, sweating , diarrhea). Also note that dizziness is not uncommon in migraine: 40% of people who suffer from migraine have it.
Regarding dizziness, they can be caused by dehydration which leads to a drop in blood pressure but can also be adverse effects of certain medications or even symptomatic of episodes of anxiety, especially in young people.
Among other causes, a deficiency in vitamin B12 (found in animal foods or as a supplement for vegetarians) can lead to a number of neurological problems, including dizziness.
They can also be due to the consumption of alcohol, drugs or even coffee. Finally, watch out for certain dizziness that can be a symptom of heart disease where the blood supply to the brain is reduced. It is always best to consult in case of doubt if your head is spinning.