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What causes vertigo?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Turns out, there's a lot going on inside the inner ear that we're unaware of until something goes wrong—such as vertigo. In the ear's canal-like vestibular system, tiny particles float on even tinier hairs. The motion of the particles against the hairs triggers electrical messages to the brain that let you identify up and down (they're like gravity meters), but if those particles end up in an adjacent area called the cupula, the world starts spinning.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.