A sudden onset of vertigo (dizziness) means that something is potentially wrong with the brain or blood pressure. Almost all conditions that affect the brain are potentially life-threatening. In the case of sudden vertigo, call your physician immediately.
Causes of VertigoMany times, vertigo is made worse by movement or changes in position. Two common causes of vertigo are labrynthitis (inner ear infection) or a condition called Meniere's disease. Both of these conditions are caused by fluid fluctuations in the inner ear. The ear sends a message to the brain that the victim is moving, while the eyes send a different message. Since the two messages conflict, the victim feels dizzy.
Another very common cause of vertigo that worsens with a change in position is dehydration. Dehydration often follows vomiting or diarrhea. Vertigo often causes nausea and vomiting, so it may be hard to distinguish inner ear problems from dehydration. Victims of vertigo that gets worse with changes in position should be seen by a physician. Untreated, inner ear problems can lead to a loss of hearing and dehydration can lead to shock.
Any condition that affects the brain can cause vertigo. One of the easiest ways to remember other causes of vertigo is to use the mnemonic AEIOU TIPS:
- A - alcohol
- E - epilepsy or exposure (heat stroke, hypothermia)
- I - insulin (diabetic emergency)
- O - overdose or oxygen deficiency (shortness of breath)
- U - uremia (toxins due to kidney failure)
- T - trauma (shock or head injury)
- I - infection
- P - psychosis or poisoning
- S - stroke