vertigo


vertigo
/verr"ti goh'/, n., pl. vertigoes, vertigines /veuhr tij"euh neez'/. Pathol.
a dizzying sensation of tilting within stable surroundings or of being in tilting or spinning surroundings.
[1520-30; < L vertigo a turning or whirling round, equiv. to vert(ere) to turn (see VERSE) + -igo n. suffix]

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Feeling that one is spinning or that one's surroundings are spinning around one, causing confusion and difficulty keeping one's balance, sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Vertigo is normal after actual spinning, since inner-ear fluid continues to move once the body has stopped, producing a mismatch between visual and internal sensations. Lack of a stable visual reference point also contributes to this effect. Other causes include concussion and abnormalities of the inner ear (e.g., labyrinthitis; see otitis), of the nerves that carry signals from it, or of the brain centers that receive them (e.g., stroke). Vertigo is often confused with a feeling of faintness (see syncope), since both are called dizziness. See also motion sickness, proprioception, spatial disorientation.

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      sensation that a person's surroundings are rotating or that he himself is revolving. Usually the state produces dizziness, mental bewilderment, and confusion. If the sensation is intense enough, the person may become nauseated and vomit.

      Aircraft pilots and underwater divers are subject to vertigo because the environments in which they work frequently have no reference points by which to orient their direction of movement. The illusions caused by disorientation are perhaps the most dangerous aspect of vertigo; a pilot, for example, may sense that he is gaining altitude when in reality he is losing it, or he may feel that he is steering to the right when he is on a straight course. See also spatial disorientation. (spatial disorientation)

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Universalium. 2010.

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