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10 Common Symptoms of Vertigo


Vertigo causes dizzy spells where you feel like you are spinning or swaying, as if you are off-balance. Vertigo is related to brain or inner ear problems. There are several conditions that can cause vertigo, including swift head movements, inner ear inflammation because of a viral or bacterial infection, Meniere's Disease, tumors, multiple sclerosis, migraine headaches, or diabetes.

Vertigo symptoms may come and go, and can last minutes or hours.

Symptom 1: Nausea/Vomiting

Are you nauseated? Feel like you need to vomit? Who doesn’t feel like that when the room is spinning?

Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting.

Symptom 2: Sweating

Do you sweat excessively, even when not exercising? Vertigo can make you sweat!

According to Emedicinehealth.com, a patient stated: “I use saline solution in nose to try to keep sinus clear. I have not taken medication. After an episode I have sweating and nausea for hours. I have had neurological work up to confirm positional vertigo. Feeling is that mine might be related to stiff muscles in the neck. I have tried exercises to fix it, but nothing works.”

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Symptom 3: Headache

Do you have a severe headache? A migraine? Such headaches can be scary and troubling. Fortunately, lifestyle changes, medications, and therapies can help manage them.

According to a post on Patient.info: “I'm a 42 yr old male, while driving 3 weeks ago I suddenly got a feeling I was going to pass out and instantly pulled onto the hard shoulder and let a colleague drive. Since then all was fine until 3 days ago when 3 hours into a drive the same thing happened, I pulled over again and the colleague finished the drive. I was fine the rest of the day and drove back to the hotel later. The following day the same thing happened again on the way back around the same time into the drive. Since then I've been dizzy constantly, when I say dizzy it's more the feeling I'm going to faint and now there is an accompanying headache. I'm very very concerned as a big part of my job is driving, and I don't feel confident getting in a car at the moment.”

Symptom 4: Hearing

Do you hear a "ringing" sound in your ears? Have you lost some of your hearing? Is your hearing muffled? Fluctuating?

According to Livingwithhearingloss.com, a patient stated: “Once in a while I wake up in the morning and I know something is not right. My tinnitus is wailing, my head is woozy, and the room is spinning. It’s going to be one of those days. Whenever this occurs (probably 2 or 3 times a year) I wonder if I have a form of Meniere’s disease. Vertigo is one of its primary symptoms. My doctors tell me ‘no’ since my hearing loss does not fluctuate during these episodes, but I wonder. The good news is that my bouts are few and far between. Fingers crossed that it stays that way.”

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Symptom 5: Spinning/Swaying

Do you feel like you or the room you are in is spinning or swaying? This is the main symptom associated with vertigo.

According to Earandbalance.net, with vertigo “You can feel like you are swaying as if on a boat, rocking back and forth, being pushed or pulled in one direction, falling or dropping.” 

Symptom 6: Loss of Balance

Is it hard to keep your balance? Is it difficult to walk? When walking, you can feel as if you are tipping over or unsteady.

According to WebMD, “You can also do walking exercises for vertigo, which may improve your balance and symptoms of vertigo. A specific start/stop method is used to improve your balance. You can track your progress for walking exercises.”

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Symptom 7: Eye Movements

Are you having abnormal or jerking eye movements and visual disturbances? Do you have blurry or double vision?

According to Healthcentral.com, “In a sense, eye movements are windows to the cause of the vertigo. This spinning affliction made famous by Hitchcock in film is not itself a disease but a symptom of a process affecting the brain and related nervous system structures…Eye movements together with retinal and brain processing of position change help us ‘right ourselves’ in our worlds of solar system spin punctuated by individual and environmental motion. Many find riding in cars or boats to be triggers of vertigo, but as a result of compensatory reflexes, most do not experience it. Could you imagine if walking alone induced vertigo or observing something in motion caused dizziness in the viewer? Eye movements linked to our vestibular system which begins in the inner ear with nerve connections to our brain stem, cerebellum, spinal cord, and the gaze centers in our cerebral cortex, help us diminish our feelings of rotation by working together to stabilize our position in space. When the eye movements show excessive or unusual jerking at rest or with head position change or in response to looking in one direction or another (up, down or to either side), they answer certain questions as to why vertigo exists.”

Symptom 8: Disorientation

Do you feel disoriented? Like an out-of-body experience? Wondering which way is up? This could be due to the spinning sensation of vertigo. It messes with your spatial awareness.

According to Pilotfriend.com, “Disorientation, or vertigo, is actually a state of temporary spatial confusion resulting from misleading information sent to the brain by various sensory organs.”

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Symptom 9: Difficulty Speaking

Is it difficult to talk? Are you slurring your words? Are your words jumbled? Unable to understand what others are saying?

Vertigo can affect your speech and how you respond to other people talking.

Symptom 10: Weakness

Do you feel weak? In your muscles or all over your body?

According to Medhelp.org, a patient stated: “I am a 28-year-old female.  Almost 3 years ago I had an episode of vertigo, imbalance (+Romberg) and Upper and lower Right extremity weakness resulting in daily falls, which lasted for 4-6 weeks.  I had a normal MRI of brain w/ & w/o gad at that time.  (blood tests Ruled out lyme, syphilis and variety of hormone imbalances.) I had a similar set of symptoms 6 months later, vertigo, fatigue, weakness, especially in my right (dominant) hand with decrease of hand strength by 80% over my left hand.  (Ruled out Lupus, RA, and variety of rheumatoid diseases, as well as active EBV/Parvo/Lyme infections.  Normal sed. Rate, normal thyroid, slightly elevated CK, slightly low white count) Symptoms lasted about 4-6 weeks. These symptoms returned this fall.”

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