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 — a condition in which the body doesn't get oxygen due to a lack of healthy red blood cells.
  3. Dehydration (when the body doesn't have enough water and other fluids to work as it should)
  4. Hypoglycemia
  5. Heart arrhythmia (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. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  2. Concussion
  3. Depression (major depressive disorder) or other mood disorders
  4. Generalized anxiety disorder
  5. Motion sickness: First aid
  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.

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Dec. 03, 2022

See also

  1. Acoustic neuroma
  2. Agoraphobia
  3. Anaphylaxis
  4. Anaphylaxis: First aid
  5. Anemia
  6. Angina
  7. Anhidrosis
  8. Anorexia nervosa
  9. Aplastic anemia
  10. Aspirin allergy
  11. Autonomic neuropathy
  12. Bee sting
  13. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  14. Blood tests for heart disease
  15. Video: Septal myectomy and apical myectomy
  16. Bump on the head: When is it a serious head injury?
  17. Calcium supplements: A risk factor for heart attack?
  18. Can vitamins help prevent a heart attack?
  19. Carbon monoxide poisoning
  20. Cardiac MRI animation
  21. Cardiomyopathy
  22. Kinser's story
  23. Carotid artery disease
  24. Chelation therapy for heart disease: Does it work?
  25. Chest pain
  26. Chiari malformation
  27. Concussion
  28. Concussion in children
  29. Concussion Recovery
  30. Concussion Telemedicine
  31. Congenital heart disease in adults
  32. Coronary artery spasm: Cause for concern?
  33. Cough headaches
  34. Craving and chewing ice: A sign of anemia?
  35. CSF leak (Cerebrospinal fluid leak)
  36. Cyclic vomiting syndrome
  37. Daily aspirin therapy
  38. Dehydration
  39. Diabetic neuropathy
  40. Diabetic neuropathy and dietary supplements
  41. Types of diabetic neuropathy
  42. Dilated cardiomyopathy
  43. Drug addiction (substance use disorder)
  44. Drug allergy
  45. Drummer Beats Heart Disease
  46. Dumping syndrome
  47. Egg allergy
  48. Eisenmenger syndrome
  49. Enlarged heart
  50. Essential thrombocythemia
  51. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
  52. Fibromuscular dysplasia
  53. Flu Shot Prevents Heart Attack
  54. Flu shots and heart disease
  55. Food poisoning
  56. Genetics and Cardiomyopathy
  57. Grass-fed beef
  58. Hangovers
  59. Healthy Heart for Life!
  60. Heart and Blood Health
  61. Heart attack
  62. Heart attack prevention: Should I avoid secondhand smoke?
  63. Heart attack symptoms
  64. Heart Attack Timing
  65. Heart disease
  66. Heart disease in women: Understand symptoms and risk factors
  67. Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease
  68. Heart murmurs
  69. Heat exhaustion
  70. Hidden Heart Attack
  71. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
  72. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy HCM
  73. Intracranial hematoma
  74. Iron deficiency anemia
  75. Jellyfish stings
  76. Left ventricular hypertrophy
  77. Menstrual cramps
  78. Menus for heart-healthy eating
  79. Mitral valve prolapse
  80. New Test for Preeclampsia
  81. Nocturnal panic attacks: What causes them?
  82. NSAIDs: Do they increase my risk of heart attack and stroke?
  83. Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health
  84. Omega-3 in fish
  85. Omega-6 fatty acids
  86. Panic attacks and panic disorder
  87. Paraneoplastic syndromes of the nervous system
  88. Peanut allergy
  89. Penicillin allergy
  90. Pericardial effusion
  91. Peripheral nerve tumors
  92. Persistent post-concussive symptoms (Post-concussion syndrome)
  93. Polycythemia vera
  94. Polypill: Does it treat heart disease?
  95. Poppy seed tea: Beneficial or dangerous?
  96. Post COVID syndrome
  97. Preeclampsia
  98. Progressive supranuclear palsy
  99. Pseudotumor cerebri (idiopathic intracranial hypertension)
  100. Radiation sickness
  101. Red wine, antioxidants and resveratrol
  102. Rhabdomyolysis
  103. Robotic or minimally invasive cardiac surgery for adult-adolescent congenital heart disease
  104. SCAD 2 Social Media as a Lifesaving Link
  105. Scleroderma
  106. Shellfish allergy
  107. Silent heart attack
  108. Spider bites
  109. Spinal headaches
  110. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
  111. Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD)
  112. Heart disease prevention
  113. Sudden cardiac arrest
  114. Sudden death in young people: Heart problems often blamed
  115. Sulfa allergy
  116. Takayasu's arteritis
  117. Thrombocytosis
  118. Traumatic brain injury
  119. Ventricular tachycardia
  120. What is ventricular tachycardia?
  121. Cardiac ablation: treatment for ventricular tachycardia
  122. Vertigo
  123. Video: Heart and circulatory system
  124. Viral hemorrhagic fevers
  125. Vitamin deficiency anemia
  126. Wheat allergy
  127. Whiplash
  128. Xylazine