Dizziness or Vertigo?

Lately there has been a bout of labyrinthitis going around in our neighborhood which had me wondering about how the real difference between vertigo and dizziness. Real vertigo involves dizziness, but most medical professionals would tell you that it is a specific type of dizziness, something that is suggested by the root of the word vertigo, which is ‘vertere', meaning ‘turn' in Latin.
People who have vertigo as a noticeable shift in the sufferer's relationship with their normal environment. It is often described by those who suffer vertigo as an uncontrollable feeling that the room is spinning, or that the world is whirling, dipping and turning around them. This is different than just be dizzy.
They often describe the condition as a thoroughly unpleasant sensation of moving in or through space whilst they are thoroughly conscious that they are in fact physically immobile or completely still. A good example of this is the child that gets dizzy when he or she merely moves his or her head one pillow.
The basic cause of vertigo is that something has caused a disturbance of the equilibrium or balance of the sufferer, so that in certain situations this imbalance causes them to feel dizziness. Real vertigo causes real suffering including nausea, rapid involuntary eye movements and often vomiting as well. The reason I mention this is because the first time I saw my kid have vertigo I practically thought she was dying.
Whilst they are suffering an attack of vertigo, the individual may interpret the dizziness in one of two different ways, sensing that either they are moving whereas everything else is stationary (known as subjective vertigo), or they may see everything else is moving whilst they are still, which is objective vertigo.
On the one hand, you may feel that you are tilting, rocking or falling through space and that you have no grip on reality, which can often lead to nausea and vomiting, whilst on the other side of the coin, you may feel perfectly still whilst everything hurtles around uncontrollably, in which case, exactly the same ‘end result' may occur!
For the majority of children and adults who suffer vertigo, the condition is not grave or dangerous. Mostly it is just annoying! However it is recommended that if you or your kid suffers dizziness of any form, you should seek a professional medical evaluation of your condition as it may be indicative of something considerably more serious.