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What causes vertigo and dizziness?

Vertigo and dizziness are common problems in migraine sufferers. In general, as a neurologist, I see a lot of patients with dizziness. The problem tends to be more prominent in migraineurs. There are several different potential causes of vertigo, and even more in migraineurs.

Vertigo can be present as a part of migraine, is very common after concussion, and can be caused by a host of middle and inner ear disorders, as well as brain disorders. In some cases, dizziness can be related to dehydration, blood pressure drops, or heart problems.

Vertigo can be an associated symptom of migraine (like nausea and sensitivity to light), it can be an aura-type symptom (preceding the migraine in a very distinct episode), it can be the only manifestation of migraine (migrainous vertigo, a variant of migraine), or it can be a symptom in the general life, intermittently and not associated with actual migraine attacks, of a migraineur, but related to the migraine by the genetic underlying sensitivities. Of course, migraineurs can also get vertigo from the more typical and non-migraine related causes, such as inner ear infections, labyrinthitis, benign positional vertigo, menierie’s disease, other ear problems, and even strokes.

Vertigo and dizziness can have different causes. The most common causes of vertigo and dizziness are balance-related disorders in the inner ear such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and labyrinthitis. Although not as common, central vertigo and dizziness are symptoms of disorders and diseases that affect the brain or brain stem. These disorders and diseases include migraines, multiple sclerosis, blood vessel disease, and in rare cases, seizures. Dizziness can also be caused by anxiety disorders, dehydration, and low blood pressure. In more severe cases, dizziness can be symptomatic of heart disease or stroke.

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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.