Vertigo is a symptom characterized by a false sense of spinning or movement, usually associated with a feeling of dizziness or loss of balance. It is often described as a spinning sensation, as if the person or their surroundings are rotating, even when they are not. Vertigo can be caused by various underlying conditions or disorders affecting the inner ear, the brain, or the sensory pathways connecting them.
The most common cause of vertigo is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), which occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and affect the normal fluid movement, leading to a sense of spinning. Other causes include Ménière's disease, which involves fluid buildup in the inner ear; vestibular neuritis, an inflammation of the vestibular nerve; labyrinthitis, an infection of the inner ear; and certain migraines.