Vertigo is when a person feels like they are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement.
There may be associated nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulties walking. It is typically worsened when the head is moved. Vertigo is the most common type of dizziness
The most common diseases that result in vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, menieres disease and labyrinthitis. Physiologic vertigo may occur following being exposed to motion for a prolonged period such as when on a ship or simply following spinning with the eyes closed. Other causes may include toxin exposures such as to carbon monoxide, alcohol or aspirin. Vertigo is a problem in a part of the vestibular system. Other causes of dizziness include presyncope, disequilibrium and non-specific dizziness. Vertigo is classified into either peripheral or central depending on the location of the dysfunction of the vestibular pathway, although it can also be caused by psychological factors.
Dizziness affects approximately 20%-40% of people at some point in time while about 7.5%-10% have vertigo. About 5% have vertigo in a given year. It becomes more common with age and affects women two to three times more often than men.