Several conditions can trigger vertigo, the most common being an inner ear canal imbalance that causes benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Other causes of vertigo include Meniere's disease and several conditions related to the central nervous system, according to MedlinePlus.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs when a piece of calcium breaks off and enters the fluid in the ear canal. When that fluid is disrupted, the brain is not able to interpret the signals it receives from the ear canal necessary for proper balance, says MedlinePlus.
Meniere's disease can also trigger vertigo, explains MedlinePlus. Meniere's disease is indicated by the presence of too much fluid in the ear canal. The excess fluid hinders the brain's ability to balance the body properly. Bouts of vertigo attributable to Meniere's disease can last up to several hours and result in tinnitus and hearing loss, notes Mayo Clinic.
Conditions of the central nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, tumors and strokes can also trigger vertigo, according to MedlinePlus. Vertigo associated with the central nervous system, also referred to as central vertigo, may be caused by blood vessel disease, migraines or a reaction to drugs such as anticonvulsants and alcohol. The conditions resulting from central vertigo are due to a problem in the brain.