vertigo (vûrˈtĭgō) [key], sensations of moving in space or of objects moving about a person and the resultant difficulty in maintaining equilibrium. True vertigo, as distinguished from faintness, lightheadedness, and other forms of dizziness, occurs as a result of a disturbance of some part of the body's balancing mechanism, located in the inner ear (e.g., vestibule, semicircular canals, auditory nerves). Labyrinthitis, or infection and irritation of the middle and inner ear, is a common cause of vertigo. Elimination of infectious, toxic, or environmental factors underlying the disturbance is essential for permanent relief.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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