DIZZINESS  & VERTIGO:
 
Dr. A. Vincent Thamburaj.  
Neurosurgeon, Apollo Hospitals,  Chennai , India.

Dizziness is a complaint of postural instability. Vertigo is the perception of illusory environmental rotation. Standing may be difficult with dizziness, but virtually impossible with vertigo. Either of them may result from brain or ear disease with hearing loss and/or tinnitus.

Labrynthitis (inflammatory ear disease) is presumed to be caused by viruses. It is self limiting, but can recur. Disturbance in blood flow to the brain, some brain tumors and tumors of the ear nerve are some of the serious problems that present with vertigo or dizziness and must be ruled out.

One needs an intact brain to perceive what the ears hear. Inability to recognize specific types of noise and auditory hallucinations result from involvement of specific areas in the brain and requires neurological assessment.

Tinnitus is the perception of ringing or whistling noises independent of external stimuli and usually associated with diminished hearing in one ear which may disappear when the hearing loss is total. A wide variety of medications including aspirin may induce tinnitus as a side effect. Unusual cause is a tumor in the hearing nerve.

 
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