Vertigo: Causes, Symptoms, And Disability

Vertigo is a condition in which you feel dizziness, and imbalance even when nothing else is moving around you. Whether you are working from home or in the office, having vertigo can disrupt your ability to function. You may feel as if you are moving when you are not or as if everything around you is spinning, swaying or otherwise moving around you. If you are outside on the street, are taking public transportation, or are at a construction site, feeling the symptoms of vertigo can become extremely hazardous for you.


One of the primary sources of this problem is having an internal ear issue. Conditions that can produce vertigo include Inner ear infections or disorders, migraines, tumors, surgery, a head injury, and a stroke. Here are the causes of this condition.

    • BPPV:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is the sensation in which you feel that your head is spinning or that your environment around you is spinning. This generally occurs due to specific changes in the positioning of your head and can become a dangerous condition that may lead you to have a serious fall.

Vertigo Disability

Another cause of BPPV is when microscopic particles of calcium known as canaliths travel into and gather in your inner ear, which can occur due to surgery, injury, or head trauma, which can be worsened by prolonged periods of laying on your back.

There is a tiny organ called the vestibular labyrinth inside of your ear which contains sensory receptors (otolith organs) that send signals to your brain that make you aware of and sensitive to gravity with respect to moving your head.

If these receptors become dislodged, they may cause you to become especially sensitive to gravity to the point where you may feel off balance. Doctors can advise you whether you have vertigo and more specifically, if you have a Vertigo disability. Often, age is one of the contributors to being diagnosed with BPPV.

    • Vestibular Neuritis Or Labyrinthitis:

Infection or inflammation in your ear causes labyrinthitis, which affects the balance of the hearing organs within the inner ear and could lead to prolonged vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears) or even hearing loss. Viral infections are mostly to blame for this condition. Vestibular neuritis is a condition affecting the vestibular nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. This can also cause prolonged vertigo. Your body’s sense of balance can be detrimentally affected as a result of having either of these conditions.

    • Meniere’s Disease:

When fluid builds up inside of your ear to the extent that it changes the amount of pressure in your ear, you may be diagnosed with Meniere’s disease or disorder. As a result, you can suffer from various medical conditions, including ringing in the ear or tinnitus, hearing loss, and vertigo.

    • Neck or head injuries sometimes cause vertigo.
    • Certain kinds of medicine or taking an incorrect dosage of medication may also cause ear damage, which may lead to vertigo.
    • A stroke or brain tumor can cause problems that are associated with vertigo.
    • Migraine headaches can also cause vertigo.

Is Vertigo A Disability?

Depending on the severity of your condition, if you have vertigo, you may be unable to carry out daily activities such as earning a living. Your symptoms and medical conditions may be so severe that they have placed you in an unimaginable life-changing situation. Vertigo may disrupt your daily life and ability to work as a result. If your vertigo is severe, it may cause you to develop a disability.

Vertigo doesn’t occur without a cause. It needs a trigger. The positioning of your head may trigger symptoms of vertigo. The symptoms can then worsen over time, especially if they are left untreated.

As we have mentioned before, prolonged dizziness, nausea and even vomiting are common signs of incurring a vertigo disability:

  • Your body may not be able to balance properly.
  • Your head or body may start to tilt.
  • Swaying is another sign of vertigo.
  • You may feel as if something, or someone is pulling you in one direction.

These are the typical signs of vertigo, but you may also observe some of the symptoms below:

  • You may feel nausea.
  • You may experience nystagmus (uncontrollable, repetitive eye movement), a jerking, or other abnormal movement by your eyes.
  • You may also vomit.
  • You may start to sweat.
  • You may hear a ringing in your ear or even experience short-term or long-term hearing loss.

Can You Get Disability Benefits For Vertigo?

In regard to whether vertigo is a disability, the Social Security Administration may decide that if your vertigo is severe enough, you could qualify for Social Security Disability Income or Supplemental Security Income.

If your vertigo is the reason that you have a disabling condition such as a vestibular balance disorder, the SSA may consider your medical condition as a qualifying disability according to their listing of impairments. As a result, the SSA may give you disability benefits for vertigo.

To Get Disability for Vertigo, It is Important to Meet the Eligibility Criteria

When you have any severe vestibular imbalance disorder such as vertigo, the SSA may very likely approve your application for disability benefits on that basis under Listing 2.07. Suppose you have a labyrinthine-vestibular dysfunction. In that case, you may need to make a stronger effort to try to prove that your condition meets or is equivalent to the 2.07 listing.

You may need to prove that your disease or disorder is substantially disrupting your balance, causing tinnitus, and causing you to lose your hearing. You may have to prove that all of the signs and symptoms of vertigo exist regardless of which vestibular disorder it is. You may need to submit the following documents and possibly more information to the SSA to prove your disability.

  • Positional or Caloric Testing: For these examinations, you have to show that your vestibular labyrinth is functioning abnormally or deficiently. These tests are not invasive. Warm and cool water or air are placed into your ear to execute these tests.
  • Hearing Loss Test: You may also have to demonstrate that you have partially or fully lost your hearing.

You may be able to get approved for the disability benefits by providing sufficient documents to prove that your condition meets the above criteria. If you have a hearing loss issue alone, you may still qualify for disability benefits depending on the severity of your condition. Bear in mind that long-term vertigo could lead to substantial or permanent hearing loss that could make you deaf or hard of hearing to the point that you could be considered legally deaf.

Medical Evidence You Need To Satisfy The Listing Criteria

Vertigo or other vestibular disorder syndromes may occur from time to time and even worsen over an extended period. You have to keep medical records and provide the SSA with accurate dates and times for when these issues start to occur and how frequently they occur. The medical records need to show how severe your condition is, how long the attacks last, and how frequently the attacks happen.

As you know, vertigo can cause dizziness, and imbalance, and nausea, which indicates that you have problems with movement. It would help if you kept logs regarding the frequency of the times in which you experience vertigo and how it disrupts your daily activities. It will help if you log your symptoms such as dizziness, from vertigo.

A doctor who has been treating you may also enter your Ménière’s related vertigo episodes into your medical records. The symptoms for this condition include nausea, incapacitation, vomiting, or absence of muscle coordination. The doctor should be licensed if you want the SSA to accept your medical documents.

You may also need to provide further evidence and medical examination documents. That includes MRI test results, X-rays, CT scans, as well as speech and hearing tests. Go through the criteria to know more about the requirements.

What If Your Vestibular Balance Disorder Doesn’t Meet The Listing?

Suppose your vertigo or any vestibular disorder symptom don’t meet the SSA’s listing requirements. Then, you may have to prove your condition is severe enough to be equivalent to a listing. You may have to prove that your condition substantially interferes with your daily life. Your limitations, age, educational qualification, and past work experience will play a vital role in proving this.

You can also give the SSA a Residual Functional Capacity (RFC) assessment prepared by your doctor. A attorney will be able to help you these and other requirements for disability benefits for vertigo.

When your vertigo disability or vestibular disorder meet the listing of impairments by the SSA, you may be eligible to qualify for disability benefits. A Dallas disability lawyer may help you get approval to receive disability benefits from the SSA.