ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

Sleep Disorders Caused by Vertigo

Sleep Disorders Caused by Vertigo


When your ears have problems, you may not only suffer from hearing loss, but you will also experience other related deficiencies as well. In fact, you may experience sleep disorders because of the interrelated functions of your ears, nose and throat.


One of the ear problems that can affect the quality of your sleep is vertigo. It is difficult to have this condition because when you lie in bed, you will feel as if the whole world is going round in circles. When you have vertigo, the simple act of lying in bed will be frightening.


The Nature of Vertigo


The medical definition of vertigo is a specific kind of dizziness characterized by a sense that the environment is spinning even if there is no movement in the immediate environment. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a fear of heights, which is more correctly termed acrophobia.


The rotational type of dizziness of vertigo can be induced by the disturbance in the balance organs of the inner ear, or defects in some parts of the sensory nerve pathways of the brain.


There are two basic types of vertigo:


  • Peripheral vertigo – the condition caused by inner ear problems
  • Central vertigo – the condition caused by problems in the central nervous system.


Symptoms of Vertigo


Aside from rotational dizziness, some of the symptoms associated with vertigo include tinnitus, hearing loss, nausea, feeling of fullness in the ear, and vomiting.


Peripheral Vertigo


When there is a disturbance in the balance organs of your inner ears, you are likely to experience peripheral vertigo. Your inner ear has tiny organs that allow messages to be sent to your brain as they react to gravity.


They send signals to your brain when you make any vertical movement, enabling you to keep your balance and maintain your equilibrium. However, when there is a disturbance in the system, vertigo results. This disturbance can be caused by labyrinthis, the inflammation of the inner ear labyrinth or vestibular neuronitis, the inflammation of the vestibular nerve.


Another cause is Meniere’s disease, an inflammation due to viral or bacterial infection. The vertigo is partly the result of high pressure exerted by fluid that accumulated in a compartment of the inner ear.


Another cause is BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. When otolith particles (calcium carbonate crystals) within the inner ear fluid pull on the sensory hair cells whenever you move, they stimulate the vestibular nerve to send information about your position to the brain. You will experience BPPV when the normal movement of the fluid continues even after your head stopped moving.


Treatment of Peripheral Vertigo


The best way to treat this condition is to consult an ENT specialist. Since it is difficult to determine the real cause of your condition, he will perform physical examinations which include inspecting your ear, one or more maneuver tests and MRI scans to explore the causes.



HK ENT Specialist Ltd.
Hong Kong based ENT clinic centre
For ENT Services, Audiology & Speech Therapy,
Sleep Disordered Breathing Management,
Hearing Aid Prescription & Medical Cosmetic Services

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