Many a time, while walking, sitting or lying down, you may have experienced dizziness along with a head spinning sensation. In such cases, you may have noticed everything spinning around you and felt a loss of balance. This may have occurred when you moved suddenly, or looked down from a tall building or hill. This problem is a common symptom of a condition called vertigo. Many people whose head spins just lay down and wait for the whole sensation to pass. Here's why this may happen and the symptoms associated with it.
While head spinning itself may be a symptom of vertigo or another underlying problem, there are other symptoms of vertigo that accompany this dizzy feeling:
- You may feel lightheaded and faint before, after or during your experience of head spinning.
- A sense of weakness usually accompanies head spinning.
- While turning your head quickly, you may experience blurred vision.
- A loss of balance and unsteadiness are other symptoms.
- You may also feel nauseated because of the rapid sensation of movement.
- Difficulty in concentration is a common associated symptom.
One may experience a bout of head spinning due to extreme anxiety, as a side effect of certain kind of medication, disorders of the inner ear, a sudden drop in blood glucose leves, or a sudden drop in blood pressure. However, as mentioned earlier, the most common cause of this condition is vertigo.
There is a structure in the inner ear that is responsible for your sense of balance. The nerve in that part of your ear is connected to the brainstem and cerebellum. This is known as the vestibular system. The sense of balance maintained by this structure enables you to stand erect and maintain balance as you carry on with your daily activities. When you move your head, certain signals are sent to the labyrinth in the inner ear, which redirects this signal to the vestibular nerve and then to the brainstem and cerebellum. Vertigo or head spinning is caused when there is an imbalance or problem with this transmission of signals, leading to a loss of balance and other symptoms mentioned above. The causes of head spinning or vertigo can thus be described as follows.
Inner Ear Inflammation
This condition is also known as vestibular neuronitis, which causes a sudden and severe bout of head spinning or vertigo, and lasts for a few days. This condition may incapacitate you for a bit, and may require you to take bed rest. However, it heals itself so no specific treatment is required for it. A viral infection may be a cause of inner ear inflammation.
If you are someone who already suffers from bouts of migraine, you may be susceptible to a bout of head spinning and dizziness along with it. Also, if you have migraine-related vertigo, you are likely to suffer from a spinning sensation as a result of motion sickness and car and sea sickness. Other symptoms of this condition include a buzzing sound in the ear and a loss of balance. These attacks last from a few minutes to a few days. It is not necessary that the vertigo attack occurs at the same time you have a headache due to a migraine. Vertigo that is triggered by migraine is actually a result of hormonal changes, stress, or lack of sleep.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Head spinning due to this condition occurs when you suddenly move your head, and this may also occur while lying down when you try to turn over. This is caused because of the collection of calcium carbonate crystals in the canals in your inner ear. A movement of these particles causes a sense of imbalance leading to head spinning. This condition occurs mainly due to aging, but may also be a result of some kind of trauma to the head.
Acoustic neuroma is a condition characterized by dizziness, head spinning, loss of balance and a buzzing sound in the ear. It is a condition where there is a noncancerous growth on the vestibular nerve.
A condition characterized by the excessive collection of fluids in the inner ear is also a cause of this condition. You may experience a bout of head spinning or a vertigo attack for about thirty minutes to several hours if you suffer from this disease. Furthermore, the sensation is accompanied by a buzzing or ringing in the ear and hearing loss over time.
In rarer cases, head spinning can also be caused by multiple sclerosis, brain hemorrhage, or a stroke.
Reducing the discomfort that is a result of this condition is essential, so that you don't experience related problems such as injury from falling after a bout of head spinning, or any other such problem. A series of diagnostic tests can help you identify all the causes, and help treat vertigo within the right time.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.