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see your doctor if vertigo strikes

See Your Doctor if Vertigo Strikes

July 22, 2019

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, MD, 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 commonly, 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,” explains Dr. Karpinos. “It’s 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.”

Diagnosis and Treatment

Vertigo is diagnosed by medical history and physical examination. A consultation with a neurologist or ENT 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.

Headshot of Marianna Karpinos, MD

About the Author

Dr. Marianna Karpinos is a neurologist at Kelsey-Seybold's Main Campus, Pasadena Clinic, Tanglewood Clinic, and Spring Medical and Diagnostic Center. Her clinical interests include the study of neurovascular disorders, movement disorders, spinal cord disorders and stroke. "I believe in addressing every problem from different points of view for each individual patient in order to come up with the best solution."

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