Causes

There a number of causes of dizziness which give different symptoms. Here are a number of examples:

  • The right or left inner ear structure or the nerve leading from it (vestibular nerve) can be affected by a virus, middle ear infection, concussion, whiplash, or uncommonly a brain tumour;
  • The brain itself where the processing systems for balance and vision are situated can be affected through conditions that affect the brain such as stroke, concussion, cerebellar conditions, or side effects from medications;
  • The aging process can affecting vision, balance and hearing through changes in the brain tissues, arthritis affecting the joints (hips, knees, back, neck), changes in the nerves affecting sensation in the feet. These can combine to limit your activity and confidence going out, in turn altering your responses to movement and balance;
  • Structural changes in the inner ear complex whereby bits of calcium crystals (otoconia) fall off the balance structures and flow freely through the canals causing disturbances in the balance messages to the brain. This is known as BPPV;
  • Some people can be sensitive to motion (never liked playgrounds, funfairs etc) and over time it worsens so that they are seriously travel sick (car, plane, bus) and get symptoms with small movements;
  • There are other causes of dizziness such as a heart condition, altering blood pressure, stress and anxiety, hyperventilation, altered breathing patterns from asthma, other lung conditions or even over-exercising. These too can be treated through individualised programmes targeting the cause.
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