What is vertigo and how is it different from dizziness?
Vertigo is a vestibular symptom that consists of a sensation of rotation or impulsion. The word dizziness, on the other hand, is broader and refers to either a faint, a faint, an imbalance or a feeling of difficulty in concentration. Therefore, from the outset, a careful assessment of the symptoms is required to arrive at a useful and effective diagnosis, which can be accessed in most cases without additional complementary tests.
What are the causes of vertigo and dizziness?
First it must be explained that the normal stability of the body is a consequence of the continuous interaction of the vestibular apparatus with the visual and sensory mechanisms, and that all this is modulated by the central nervous system. Any dysfunction or injury in any of these mechanisms can create stability problems or give rise to vestibular symptoms , such as dizziness or vertigo.. For this reason, it is essential for the neurologist to understand the diagnostic keys and to deal with situations such as a possible admission or the demand for a complementary test.
How is a vertigo or dizziness diagnosed?
It is important to make a detailed clinical history and physical examination. However, in recent years the traditional method of diagnosis (which was based on the classic categories of vertigo and dizziness, such as presyncope, imbalance or non-specific dizziness) has been replaced by syndromic patterns based on synchronization and the triggers. These patterns are four: vertigo that presents with spontaneous but prolonged acute vestibular symptoms, vertigo that presents with positional episodic vestibular symptoms, or episodic but spontaneous vestibular symptoms, and fourth instability or chronic dizziness.. Each of these patterns allows to differentiate the common benign causes of other rare and more dangerous ones. That is, with a focused approach from the beginning you can reach a correct and efficient diagnosis.
What are the most frequent forms of vertigo and dizziness?
If we distinguish between acute or chronic episodic symptoms, the most frequent forms are: vestibular neuritis, in the case of prolonged episodes, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, which is the most frequent type, and recurrent vertigo such as vestibular migraine, meniere or transient ischemic accidents. If we are in front of a picture of instability or prolonged dizziness, the doctor should think about whether there has been a process that could have hindered compensation with additional clinical symptoms, such as ocular (cataracts or strabismus), sensitive type such as neuropathy. peripheral alcoholic or diabetic, or a neurological process such as parkinsonism, which causes a deficit in mobility or confidence causing fear of falling or a psychological disorder.
How are different types of vertigo or dizziness treated?
The treatment must be linked to a specific diagnosis based on clinical history and exploration. In this examination, ocular examination , examination of vestibular maneuvers and orthostatic arterial tests are fundamental.. Dizziness, if chronic, always requires looking for an underlying cause, with adequate advice, eliminating vestibular suppressants or tranquilizers.