The causes of dizziness are as varied as its symptoms. It 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 an inner ear disturbance, infection, reduced blood flow due to blocked arteries or heart disease, medication side effects, anxiety, or another condition. Sometimes a cause can't be identified.

Dizziness, particularly vertigo, occurring by itself, without any other symptoms, is generally unlikely to be a sign of a stroke.

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. Migraine

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. Anemia
  3. Dehydration
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Heart arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems)
  6. Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)
  7. Stroke
  8. 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. Concussion
  2. Depression (major depressive disorder)
  3. Generalized anxiety disorder
  4. Motion sickness: First aid
  5. 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. 06, 2018

See also

  1. Acoustic neuroma
  2. Agoraphobia
  3. Anaphylaxis
  4. Anemia
  5. Angina
  6. Anhidrosis
  7. Anorexia nervosa
  8. Aplastic anemia
  9. Aspirin allergy
  10. Infographic: Asymptomatic Carotid Disease
  11. Autonomic neuropathy
  12. Bee sting
  13. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  14. Blood tests for heart disease
  15. 4 Ways to Prevent Heart Attack
  16. Adult congenital heart disease: What patients and families should know
  17. Adult defects
  18. Fact or Fiction? Debunking Exercise & Nutrition Myths for Preventing Heart Disease and Risk Factors
  19. Fibromuscular Dysplasia- Patient Experience, Struggles and Living with FMD
  20. Fibromuscular Dysplasia- Explanation, Treatments and Resources
  21. Healthy Heart Numbers
  22. Heart disease in women
  23. Mayo Clinic - Holiday Heart Attack and Stroke Risk
  24. Saved from Transplant
  25. SCAD: A Disease-Specific, Social Networking Community-Initiated Study
  26. Video: Septal myectomy and apical myectomy
  27. Sports Cardiology Program
  28. Bump on the head: When is it a serious head injury?
  29. Calcium supplements: A risk factor for heart attack?
  30. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  31. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  32. Cardiac MRI Animation
  33. Cardiomyopathy
  34. Kinser's story
  35. Carotid artery disease
  36. Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?
  37. Chest pain
  38. Chiari malformation
  39. Concussion
  40. Concussion in children
  41. Concussion Recovery
  42. Concussion Telemedicine
  43. Infographic: Congenital Heart Disease and Lifelong Care
  44. Congenital heart disease in adults
  45. Control your portions, control your weight
  46. Coronary artery spasm: Cause for concern?
  47. Cough headaches
  48. Craving and chewing ice: A sign of anemia?
  49. Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  50. Daily aspirin therapy
  51. Dehydration
  52. Diabetic neuropathy
  53. Diabetic neuropathy and dietary supplements
  54. Types of diabetic neuropathy
  55. Dilated cardiomyopathy
  56. Do you drink enough water?
  57. Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
  58. Drug allergy
  59. Drummer Beats Heart Disease
  60. Dumping syndrome
  61. Ease the pain of diabetic neuropathy
  62. Egg allergy
  63. Eisenmenger syndrome
  64. Heart transplant to treat dilated cardiomyopathy: Elmo's story
  65. Enlarged heart
  66. Essential thrombocythemia
  67. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  68. Fibromuscular dysplasia
  69. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  70. Flu shots and heart disease
  71. Food poisoning
  72. Genetics and Cardiomyopathy
  73. Grass-fed beef
  74. Hangover prevention: Do lighter colored drinks help?
  75. Hangovers
  76. Healthy eating: One step at a time
  77. Healthy Heart for Life!
  78. Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
  79. Heart attack
  80. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  81. Heart attack symptoms
  82. Heart Attack Timing
  83. Heart disease
  84. Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors
  85. Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
  86. Heart murmurs
  87. Heat exhaustion
  88. Hidden Heart Attack
  89. Infographic: How heart-healthy people can suffer a heart attack
  90. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  91. Infographic: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
  92. Intracranial hematoma
  93. Iron deficiency anemia
  94. Jellyfish stings
  95. Left ventricular hypertrophy
  96. Managing diabetic neuropathy complications
  97. Menstrual cramps
  98. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  99. Mitral valve prolapse
  100. New Test for Preeclampsia
  101. Nocturnal panic attacks: What causes them?
  102. NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
  103. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  104. Omega-3 in fish
  105. Omega-6 fatty acids
  106. Panic attacks and panic disorder
  107. Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system
  108. Peanut allergy
  109. Penicillin allergy
  110. Pericardial effusion
  111. Peripheral nerve tumors
  112. Polycythemia vera
  113. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  114. Post-concussion syndrome
  115. Preeclampsia
  116. Progressive supranuclear palsy
  117. Protein: Heart-healthy sources
  118. Pseudotumor cerebri
  119. Put fish on the menu
  120. Radiation sickness
  121. Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol
  122. Rhabdomyolysis
  123. Robotic or minimally invasive cardiac surgery for adult-adolescent congenital heart disease
  124. SCAD 2 Social Media as a Lifesaving Link
  125. Shellfish allergy
  126. Silent heart attack
  127. Sodium: Smarten up
  128. Spider bites
  129. Spinal headaches
  130. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
  131. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
  132. Heart disease prevention
  133. Sudden cardiac arrest
  134. Sudden death in young people: Heart problems often blamed
  135. Sulfa allergy
  136. Takayasu's arteritis
  137. Infographic: The blueprints to your heart
  138. Thrombocytosis
  139. Traumatic brain injury
  140. Ventricular tachycardia
  141. Infographic: Ventricular Tachycardia
  142. What is ventricular tachycardia?
  143. Cardiac ablation: treatment for ventricular tachycardia
  144. Vertigo
  145. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  146. Viral hemorrhagic fevers
  147. Can having vitamin D deficiency cause high blood pressure?
  148. Vitamin deficiency anemia
  149. What is meant by the term heart age?
  150. Wheat allergy
  151. Whiplash
  152. Infographic: Women and Heart Disease
  153. Yellow fever