Have you ever had the sense the room is spinning while you’re standing still? You may have been experiencing vertigo.
“For some people, it’s just this imbalance they can’t put their finger on,” says Theresa Paquette, senior physical therapist at Tidelands Health Rehabilitation Services at Conway. “For example, it may feel similar to the uneasiness that can accompany stepping off a boat. Or, people can suffer more severe symptoms, such as feeling like the room is spinning.”
Vertigo has a variety of causes, some of them quite serious — such as a stroke, heart attack or neck injury — that require immediate attention.
Damaged cranial nerves can cause vertigo, as can inner ear infections. Vertigo is also associated with “long COVID,” the set of symptoms that can persist after someone recovers from a COVID-19 infection. Vertigo also becomes more common with age.
If you experience vertigo, it’s important to seek medical care, Paquette says. That’s because vertigo can throw off your balance and sense of spatial awareness, potentially leading to injury.
“Usually, your primary care physician can lead you down the right road,” Paquette says. “In case of emergency, always call 911.”