Central dizziness is dizziness caused by a disease of the central nervous system (CNS).

Central vertigo is a state in which it seems to a person that the objects around him and/or his own body are moving or rotating in a certain direction (systemic vertigo). But often a person cannot say for sure in which direction he and everything around him is moving (non-systemic dizziness). 

It happens that a person only notes: 

  • his instability,
  • instability (staggering, trembling) of the surrounding space, 
  • the feeling of throwing the head back, the movement of the legs and body in one direction (more often upwards), and the head in the other (more often downwards in the supine position), 
  • feeling falling into the abyss. 

Dizziness occurs when there is an inconsistency in the work of the organs of vision and the central nervous system, which is responsible for the sense of the position of the body in space (kinesthetic) and the sense of balance (vestibular).

Symptoms and course

There are many reasons for dizziness. Treatment of vertigo can occur in absolutely healthy people, for example, when looking down from a great height or when looking at clouds, if you stand near a high-rise building – then there is a feeling that the clouds are not moving, but the building is leaning. Balance problems occur if you spin around for a long time and then stop.

Autoimmune inner ear disease. Dizziness as a manifestation of the disease can be caused by a disease of the inner ear when the vestibular (equilibrium) apparatus is affected by an inflammatory or tumor process. Such patients usually suffer from inflammation of the inner ear (otitis media) for a long time, at first their hearing decreases, and then dizziness appears. With a tumor lesion, attacks occur against the background of hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and dizziness attacks gradually increase and intensify.

Dizziness is very common with:

  • a sharp turn of the head to the side when getting out of bed in the morning, throwing the head back (while hanging wallpaper, hanging linen, taking a book from the top shelf), 
  • a prolonged tilt of the head to the side or to the front (weeding, car repair, long sleep on the train or bus), 
  • sometimes when walking “throws to the side.” Such vertigo is caused by a spasm or constriction of the vertebral artery, which supplies blood to the regions of the brain responsible for the balance. 
  • high or low blood pressure, poisoning, fluid loss (vomiting, diarrhea), or blood loss (bleeding). It is accompanied by dizziness and anemia (lack of erythrocytes – red blood cells in the blood), high temperature.

Recognition of dizziness is simple, based on the patient’s complaints, typical treatment of dizziness symptoms (drunken gait, patient attempts to grab onto surrounding objects, inability to stand or sit, frequent rhythmic twitching of the eyes (when looking to the side or up).

Treatment and first aid

Treatment and first aid

In case of dizziness, 

  1. Lay the patient on his back so that his head, neck, and shoulders lie on a pillow because in this position, bending of the vertebral arteries is excluded.
  2. You should avoid turning your head to the side. 
  3. You need to open the windows. 
  4. Ventilate the room. 
  5. Put a cold bandage on the forehead. 
  6. Slightly moisten it with vinegar.
  7. Having measured the pressure and temperature, take measures to normalize them. 
  8. With a heart rate of more than 100 beats per minute or an irregular heartbeat that appears, and also, if nausea and repeated (more than 3 times) vomiting have joined the dizziness, you need to call an ambulance. The prognosis depends on the nature of vertigo.

How does the human balance system work?

In most cases, true (central, systemic) dizziness is a manifestation of various diseases of the system that provides balance and control of body position in space. This system consists of the following 3 components:

The vestibular apparatus, which is located in the thickness of the skull, where sensitive receptors are located that respond to the angular or linear acceleration of the body in space.

Eyes that provide visual information about the location of the body and its parts in space, as well as relative to other objects.

Sensory receptors (proprioceptors) are found in the bones, joints, muscles, and ligaments of a person. They provide reliable information about the position of body parts in space, as well as relative to each other.

All these 3 components of the balance system simultaneously send information to the brain, where it can be analyzed and processed into a person’s idea of ​​his position in space and relative to other objects.

If for any reason, the data of vestibular neuronitis, which come from one of the sources, are distorted (for example, irritation of the receptors of the vestibular apparatus by an inflammatory reaction, when there is no movement and acceleration), then an incorrect idea of ​​the position and movement of the human body is created in the brain in space. Then there is an illusory sensation of movement or rotation when in reality the body is motionless.

The reasons for the disorder in the work of the balance system in a person can be very different. Nowadays, more than 80 diseases are known that can cause dizziness.

When to contact a doctor immediately?

When to contact a doctor immediately

You need to contact a doctor as soon as possible in cases where dizziness is accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • increased body temperature;
  • persistent vomiting;
  • severe headache, muscle weakness in the arms or legs;
  • severe dizziness lasts more than an hour;
  • during an attack of dizziness, the person lost consciousness;
  • with dizziness, the patient fell and was severely injured at the same time;
  • severe dizziness appeared in a patient with diabetes mellitus, hypertension.

The phenomenon of dizziness is very closely related to the phenomenon of motion sickness. These two symptoms can occur at the same time and be the result of a disorder in the functioning of the vestibular apparatus, so drugs that are effective for dizziness usually help with motion sickness.

Dizziness is diagnosed and treated by neurologists, vertebrologists, otorhinolaryngologists, and ophthalmologists. In order to clarify the cause of dizziness, as well as to prescribe the correct treatment, a patient with dizziness must undergo a series of examinations:

  • Doppler ultrasound of the main arteries of the head;
  • Examination by an ophthalmologist;
  • Audiographic research;
  • CT (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging);
  • X-ray of the skull and cervical spine.

Be aware that dizziness is the second most common symptom with which adults see a doctor (headaches and back pain come first). The causes of this ailment can be completely different: diseases of the inner ear and vestibular apparatus, osteochondrosis of the cervical spine, psychogenic disorders, decreased blood pressure, impaired cerebral circulation, etc.

Therefore, if you have the symptoms listed above, then immediately consult a doctor.