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Vertigo is not just a phobia of heights but a condition caused by extreme dizziness which many people suffer from. Learning to control and deal with your triggers and symptoms is the key to living with a very uncomfortable condition.

What is Vertigo?

When I tell people that I suffer from vertigo they think I am afraid of heights, but in actual fact I am talking about the dizziness form of vertigo which many people suffer from. Vertigo itself is a sensation that you or the environment around you is spinning. The easiest way to describe it is as if you are standing on a roundabout and it feels like its moving but its not. There are varying degrees of vertigo from the simple feeling of being off balance for a second, to finding it difficult to keep your balance and are unable to do normal everyday tasks such as walking or driving.

Attacks of vertigo can last from a minute or too up to days long and they often occur suddenly with no warning. My first attack was when away on a conference, suddenly I felt like the chair I was sat on was moving and when I stood up I couldn't focus. It was bad enough to make me nauseous and unable to eat. The only thing that stopped the symptoms was to lay flat and watch TV! This is where I stayed for 2 days! 

Sufferers of vertigo often claim to be depressed and also suffer stress easily because the condition stops you from being able to work on occasion and many people who have continued unexplained attacks give up work due to increased periods of absence - for what many people mistake as just dizziness.

What Can Cause Vertigo?

There are many different causes of vertigo as doctors are generally unable to determine exactly what might be causing yours. The main reason for this is because it is hard to pinpoint just one single factor as many sufferers have numerous potential causes. The most common and easily treatable causes are as follows:

Benign Positional Vertigo: This is when the body is unable to establish an equilibrium and in certain positions such as tilted head movements can trigger a vertigo attack (this is one of my causes from reading whilst tilting my head at the desk).

Meniere's Disease: A condition or problem with the inner ear as the inner ear is responsible for keeping balance. This condition is easily diagnosed when visiting the doctor, normally when referred to an ear nose and throat specialist. The disease is treatable and in some cases can reoccur.

Migraines: Many vertigo sufferers report that during migraine attacks they also get symptoms of vertigo or even the day after a migraine suffer from vertigo attacks.

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