Vertigo often produces feelings of illness, and some people confuse it with motion sickness, but vertigo actually the feeling of being in movement when the person is actually stationary. This feeling is very common, and there are many reasons that a person might experience these sensations. While the symptoms are common, people who experience it a lot can also have difficulties working, especially if it’s associated with other symptoms of inner ear disorders. Learn more about the symptoms, causes, treatments, and benefits for people experiencing vertigo by reading more about it down below.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is the feeling of motion when there aren’t external factors that would contribute to feelings of instability, such as being on an amusement park ride. While it might feel similar to motion sickness, where a person feels ill and dizzy because their brain is having difficulties processing the dissonance between the movement they feel with the stationary body position, vertigo is slightly different. When a person feels vertigo, both their body and the physical environment is stationary.
Vertigo arises from a physical condition, most often in the ear, which causes a person to have difficulties maintaining equilibrium. It’s also a common complaint, with about 200,000 cases in the U.S. per year. It can last for several months or even years, but it also often clears up in a couple of days. It more commonly affects adults than children because some types of disorders are more common in people who are at least young adults. For instance, Ménière’s Disease most commonly affects people who are young adults to middle age adults.
Some of the causes of this sensation can vary, including head trauma, ear infections, the use of antidepressant and antipsychotic medications, and other factors that can affect the semicircular canals in the ears. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common reason that people experience these sensations. Diabetes, osteoporosis, and head injuries can increase the likelihood that a person will experience BPPV.
Vestibular Neuritis, which is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve inside the ear, can also cause the sensation of movement even when the person is still. In fact, there are many disorders and diseases that can cause feelings of movement when the person and their environment are actually stationary.
Symptoms of Vertigo
Vertigo can have several symptoms, depending on the reason for the vertigo. Headache, sweating, abnormal eye movements and double vision, nausea, and vomiting are some of the most common symptoms. Some people might also have difficulties concentrating because of the feelings of nausea, sweating, and other uncomfortable experiences. There are even people who will experience changes in heart rate and blood pressure. It can also be associated with fever if the feelings of motion are caused by an infection in the ear or a virus in the body.
Vertigo is usually a symptom of another disorder, so many people who experience vertigo will have other symptoms that are associated with the disease or disorder that’s causing false feelings of movement. For instance, people with Labyrinthitis will often experience a range of symptoms, including a sensation of moving when actually still.
People with labyrinthitis or Ménière’s Disease often get tinnitus, which is hearing sounds when there isn’t any noise from the environment. Thumping, ringing, or whooshing sounds are some of the most common experiences of sound that people suffering from this condition experience. The perception of sound might be soft or loud, and the pitch might be high or low. There are two types of tinnitus: subjective and objective. Subjective is a type in which only the person suffering from the sounds can hear, and objective is a type that the doctor can observe when examining the patient.
Treatment for Vertigo
The treatment for these sensations can vary because the causes of vertigo can be different for each patient. Vertigo is one of the symptoms of other disorders, and sometimes healthcare providers have to treat the underlying causes of vertigo.
Labyrinthitis is when the inner ear becomes inflamed, which is common when a person has the flu. Since some of the common causes of this disorder is usually either a virus or infection, some form of medication, such as an antiviral agent or antibiotic, will be prescribed by the doctor.
Ménière’s Disease, which is a disease of the inner ear, is another common cause of vertigo. It’s incurable, but there are several forms of treatment that can be used to reduce the symptoms. For instance, a patient might be told to eat fewer salty foods to reduce water retention in the ear. A doctor might also prescribe motion sickness pills. In same cases, a vestibular nerve section might reduce vertigo while also maintaining the hearing for some patients.
There are also exercises that people suffering from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can do to lessen their symptoms. For instance, a healthcare provider might choose to have their patient use the Epley maneuver to lessen symptoms that last for only a minute or two. In this maneuver, the person suffering from the symptoms will adjust the angle of their head.
Benefits for People With Vertigo
Vertigo alone isn’t listed as one of the qualifying medical disabilities for SSDI benefits, but there are disorders and diseases that cause inner ear problems that cause a person to feel like they’re moving even when they’re completely still. The inner ear disorders can sometimes qualify a claimant. For instance, many times, vertigo can be associated with a vestibular balance disorder. Labyrinthitis is one type of vestibular balance disorder that can sometimes qualify a claimant for disability benefits. People who have this disorder and also are experiencing balance problems, tinnitus, and partial hearing problems automatically qualify for SSDI benefits.
Most often, the presence of some form of hearing loss must also be present with the feelings of movement, but there are some instances in which progressive hearing loss is not a necessity to qualify for benefits. For instance, a person who is experiencing balance problems and works in an environment where balance is necessary to safely perform the job might not need to have the presence of progressive hearing loss. For instance, many types of construction jobs will require that the workers are able to balance so that they don’t fall. The SSA might also determine that it doesn’t make sense for some people over the age of 50 to retrain for another job.
People who want to apply for disability benefits through the SSA should document the frequency and severity of any other symptoms that they experience. The patient will need to tell their healthcare provider for purposes of diagnosing, but a detailed record of the length and severity of the symptoms might also play a role into the claimant’s ability to get SSDI benefits.
How We Can Help
There are several ways in which the team at Osterhout Berger Disability Law can help you receive the benefit you deserve. We help individuals who need to…
- Apply for Social Security Benefits and want to ensure everything is done right the first time
- Appeal an existing denial of Social Security Disability Benefits
- Appeal an existing denial of Long Term Disability (LTD) Benefits
If you are facing one of these situations due to Vertigo, please do not hesitate in reaching out. Our team of experienced attorneys are here to help, and your consultation is free.