Why Is … My Room Spinning?

Chances are you are experiencing a form of dizziness called Vertigo. Vertigo is caused by an issue within the vestibular system or the inner ear. The role of the inner ear to help with your balance, track head movements and eye stability. The inner ear system consists of the semicircular canals, the otolith organs and moves into the cochlea (where we hear from).

There is still more to learn about vertigo, however the dizziness and room spinning is thought to be caused by small crystals of calcium getting stuck in the semicircular canals. These crystals come from another part of the Vestibular system.

What causes the crystals to move?

There are three main causes for the crystals to move from the original position. First is injury – following a head knock, Infection – e.g. Flu, pneumonia or age – the fluid of the inner ear becomes less sticky. As your head position change, these crystals roll around in th canals causing different signals to be sent to your brain.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Spinning sensation – this is NOT feeling lightheaded or off balance, you feel like you are rolling down a hill but only last 30 seconds
  • Difficulty reading or seeing during an attack.

How do we diagnose?

Vertigo can be easily diagnosed and treated by physiotherapists with experience with dizziness. The primary method of diagnosis is an in-depth conversation about all your symptoms (e.g. how long they last, what brings them on?) and a series of manoeuvres.

How do we treat Vertigo?

The most effective treatment of Vertigo is with your Physiotherapist and a series of exercises. Your physiotherapist will take you through some manoeuvres to move these crystals out of the canals. You will have remain upright for the rest of the day.

Your Physiotherapist will give you a series of exercises to move the crystals out of the canals and to prevent them from moving back into the canals while still floating free.  These exercises while help to maintain your dizzy free daily life.