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Treatment options range from behavioral changes to surgery.

See Your Doctor if Vertigo Strikes

Q: What is vertigo and how serious is it?

Vertigo is commonly described as feeling as if your surroundings are spinning, tilting or moving around you. This can lead to dizziness, imbalance, nausea, vomiting and even blurring of vision while walking, standing, sitting or lying down," says Marianna Karpinos, M.D., a board-certified Neurology specialist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Vertigo has been linked to anxiety, a drop in blood pressure, migraines, multiple sclerosis and Ménière's disease (a disorder of the ear). Less common, vertigo can also be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor or stroke.

"Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo. It is caused when crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and irritate the semicircular canals. Dizziness and other symptoms typically are brought on by a change in the position of the head, such as turning over in bed or tilting the head far backward," Dr. Karpinos explains.

Diagnosis and treatment

Vertigo is diagnosed by medical history and physical examination.

A consultation with a Neurology or Ear, Nose and Throat specialist may help with diagnosis and treatment.

​Treatment options range from behavioral changes and physical therapy to medication and surgery. 

"See your doctor immediately if you experience dizziness or vertigo along with any of the following: double vision or loss of vision, hearing loss, trouble speaking, leg or arm weakness, falling or difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, and chest pain or rapid or slow heart rate," Dr. Karpinos advises. 

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Marianna Karpinos, MD

​I believe in addressing every problem from different points of view for each individual patient in order to come up with the best solution.​