Tinnitus and Vertigo
Tinnitus and vertigo are closely related to each other because they both involve imbalances in the ear and certain medical conditions. Vertigo is a specific sort of “dizziness” in which a person feels like they (or the room) are moving or spinning when neither is true. Children who spin themselves in a circle as fast as they can are subjected to a short-term battle with vertigo if they try to walk (or stand back up) following a good few spins.
Most cases of tinnitus and all cases of vertigo originate in the same part of the body: the inner ear. The most common symptoms of vertigo include problems with balancing, falling down, nausea, vomiting, and problems standing up or walking across a room. Vertigo can be a symptom of another type of injury or disease, such as a concussion, migraine, or neuritis.
With this type of tinnitus, ringing in the ears occurs in the inner ear when the cells that send sound signals to the brain are damaged or killed. Also in the inner ear and surrounding those cells is a fluid that helps with maintaining our balance (among other functions). When we get a cold, flu, or infection, the ear swells and increases the pressure inside the inner ear. These symptoms can lead to vertigo and tinnitus as well as feeling increased pressure in the ear.
As a result, an effective tinnitus cure should be able to reduce both tinnitus and vertigo.
Tinnitus and Vertigo with Ménière’s Disease
Because vertigo is caused by fluids in the inner ear, it can also be a symptom of Ménière’s Disease along with tinnitus and hearing loss. Ménière’s disease is a condition in which the inner ear contains excess fluid, though medical scientists are still unsure why this can happen. In some cases, Ménière’s disease can also cause the membranes in the ear to swell, which can also lead to hearing damage.
Not all people who have this condition will experience vertigo and tinnitus, but many do. Symptoms can vary from mild and slightly recognizable to harsh and disabling. In most cases of what doctor’s term “classic” Ménière’s disease, a person feels four common symptoms related to the inner ear.
The first is rotational vertigo that can be harsh and lasts for several minutes or hours (sometimes more than 24 hours) can be debilitating. Hearing loss is also a common problem during vertigo attacks, likely because of increased ear pressure, as is a stark increase in the intensity or volume of tinnitus. The second classic symptoms is fluctuating hearing loss.
Hearing loss can happen in one or both ears, can move from one ear to another, and may come and go with pressure changes in the inner ear. Usually, it is the lower frequencies which have a lower level of vibration that get lost with Ménière’s disease. The third classic symptom is tinnitus, either in one or both ears and the fourth symptom is a feeling of intense or mild pressure inside the ears. This may feel more like a “clogged” sensation.
Hearing loss, pressure, tinnitus, and vertigo can cause secondary symptoms, as well. These aren’t symptoms of the condition, but brought on by the four classic symptoms. For example – vertigo causes nausea and vomiting and pressure can cause headaches.