: a sensation of motion which is associated with various disorders (as of the inner ear) and in which the individual or the individual's surroundings seem to whirl dizzily—see objective vertigo, subjective vertigo; compare dizziness
: disordered vertiginous movement as a symptom of disease in lower animals; also: a disease (as gid) causing this
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; seeotitis), 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 (seesyncope), since both are called dizziness. See alsomotion sickness, proprioception, spatial disorientation.