What is Inner Ear Vertigo?

Inner ear vertigo causes an individual to feel a sensation of dizziness or spinning. The condition can be so severe that it may be difficult for the individual to keep his or her balance, and may also result in blurry vision and nausea. It can be caused by a number of different things, including a bacterial infection, low blood pressure, or problems with eyesight. All of these causes impact the inner ear's ability to help the individual maintain balance.

The inner ear contains a structure called the labyrinth, which is largely responsible for maintaining the individual's sense of balance and controlling the way the brain processes movement outside the body. This structure works together with other parts of the body such as the eyes, nerves, and brain to process the information from the outside and determine which way is up and down, as well as differentiating between left, right, and different heights. When there is an illness, infection, or other imbalance in parts of this system, it can result in the disorienting symptoms of inner ear vertigo.


Symptoms can manifest themselves in a number of ways, and typically occur regardless of whether the individual is standing, sitting, or in a prone position. There may be a sense of falling, or the individual may feel precariously balanced and on the verge of falling. The individual may feel nauseated or disoriented in the surroundings even if he or she has not moved. There may be a sensation that the world is spinning; in extreme cases, the condition can even result in the individual fainting.

There are a number of causes for inner ear vertigo. The condition may be the result of an infection in the ear itself, or a cause elsewhere in the body may impact the individual's sense of balance. Vision problems can impact the vestibular system's ability to correctly process the information regarding locations within the environment. Some conditions manifest with inner ear vertigo as one of the major symptoms. Cogan's syndrome is a condition that affects the cornea of the eye; in these cases, inflammation in the eye disrupts the individual's sense of balance.

Inner ear vertigo may be an ongoing condition or only temporary, and some cases result in only mild forms of the condition. Some types of medication such as aspirin, cold medicines, and anti-depressants can temporarily create an inner ear imbalance. Other causes are more permanent; in the case of elderly individuals, there may be some forms of degenerative diseases that permanently impact the vestibular system's ability to maintain a sense of balance within the body.



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