The causes of dizziness are as varied as its symptoms. Dizziness can result from something as simple as motion sickness — the queasy feeling that you get on hairpin roads and roller coasters. Or it can be caused by complicated problems with the balance mechanism in your inner ear. Dizziness is also a rare sign of certain serious disorders such as stroke and diseases of the heart and blood vessels. Generally, however, dizziness in the absence of any other symptoms is almost always caused by something less worrisome.

Some causes of dizziness include:

Inner ear problems
Many cases of dizziness are caused by problems that affect the balance mechanism in your inner ear. Examples include:

  1. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  2. Ear infection (middle ear)
  3. Meniere's disease
  4. Motion sickness: First aid

Reduced blood flow
Dizziness can be caused if your brain doesn't receive enough blood. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis
  2. Dehydration
  3. Heart arrhythmias
  4. Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)
  5. Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

Certain medications
Some types of drugs cause dizziness, including some varieties of:

  1. Antidepressants
  2. Anti-seizure drugs
  3. Drugs to control high blood pressure
  4. Sedatives
  5. Tranquilizers

Other causes of dizziness

  1. Anemia
  2. Concussion
  3. Generalized anxiety disorder
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Migraine
  6. Panic attacks and panic disorder

Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.

Sept. 11, 2012