Medical Library: Head & Neck – Dizziness/Vertigo

Dizziness and vertigo, which is a spinning sensation, can be caused by a number of factors:

  • Inner ear disorders (“vestibular disorders”)
  • Injury to the inner ear
  • Diseases such as arthritis or diabetes
  • Brain disorders such as Parkinson disease or stroke
  • Conditions such as low blood pressure
  • Use of certain medications

The types and levels of dizziness vary from person to person. Some people have vertigo, which is a spinning sensation, which happens when you change the position of your head. Others have a general feeling of unsteadiness, a rocking sensation as if on a boat, or as “lightheadedness.”


  • Difficulty walking
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Feeling tired
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Depression

Dizziness can also increase the risk for falls, which can be a serious health concern among older adults. If you or a loved one are dealing with dizziness or vertigo, early treatment is key. Your brain and inner ears are more likely to be able to work together during the early stages, so that’s when you have your best chance for full recovery.