Loss of balance can be a frightening and even catastrophic symptom, and an estimated 20 million Americans suffer from balance disturbances. Dizziness is a general term referring to any sense of altered orientation in space, whereas vertigo is a specific type of dizziness defined as the hallucination or illusion of motion. The definition of vertigo includes any hallucination of motion, spinning or not, as it has been established that even such nonrotatory sensations are often vestibular in origin. Lightheadedness or unsteadiness may occur as distinct entities unrelated to vertigo. Gait disturbances and ataxia may also be the presenting symptoms of vestibular disease and are commonly noted in patients with acoustic neuromas because of their location in the cerebellopontine angle and their slow rate of growth. Syncope, fainting, and true loss of consciousness are not forms of dizziness, and the appearance of these symptoms should suggest diagnoses other than vestibular disorders such as cardiovascular disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1990|
ASJC Scopus subject areas