Vertigo vs Dizziness: What’s the Difference?

In 2016, a study showed that, of those suffering from chronic headaches, as much as 56% of them also suffered from chronic vertigo or dizziness. These two conditions, which are often interlinked, can have a seismic negative effect on a person’s quality of life.

But what you might not know, however, is that they’re actually quite different from one another. Not only are they caused by different factors, but they’re treated in different ways as well.

Curious as to the specific differences between vertigo vs dizziness? Then read on. We’re going to get into the details below.

Vertigo vs Dizziness: What’s the Difference

Dizziness is a condition associated with spatial discombobulation. For instance, you spin around in circles and have a difficult time understanding exactly where you are. As a result, your brain lags and isn’t able to process information in a timely manner; an unbalanced feeling arises.

Vertigo has more to do with the feeling that the world around you is moving. You feel almost as if the world is spinning around you.

What Causes Dizziness?

There are a number of different things that can cause dizziness. The most common causes include the following.

Rapid Movement of the Body

The most common cause of dizziness is a rapid movement of the body. Spinning in circles, doing repetitive flips, and the like can all cause you to feel unbalanced. You might find this problem arises when you’re playing sports or riding amusement park rides.

Continuous Changes in Place

Another cause of dizziness is continuous changes in place. For instance, if you’re in a car and moving at high speeds, your spatial positioning will be changing essentially constantly. This can overwhelm your brain, leading to dizziness.

Exhaustion

Exhaustion can wear down the processes in your brain, making you more susceptible to the above-reviewed factors. So, if you don’t get enough sleep or if you participate in a high-octane workout, you might start to feel a sense of dizziness.

Malnutrition

Malnutrition can also wear down the brain’s processes. As such, it too can lead to feelings of dizziness. Whether you just haven’t consumed enough calories in a given day or are malnourished over a long period of time, dizziness is a real possibility.

What Causes Vertigo?

Vertigo is far less common than dizziness, which is suffered, more or less, by everyone at one point or another. Why is vertigo less common? Because its causes are less common.

They include:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV is a condition in which movements of the head and neck cause vertigo to arise. As such, if you suffer from problems-in-the-neck type of dizziness, there’s a good chance that you’re actually suffering from vertigo.

There are a number of conditions that can lead to BPPV, from aging to holding your head in a single position, and more. Note, though, that it’s most commonly caused by head injuries.

Fortunately, there is therapy available to help manage BPPV. Most of this therapy is physical in nature, though it could involve medication use as well.

Migraines

Migraines can very often cause vertigo as well. This is because migraines also tend to originate in the neck and the head. So, it only makes sense that the two would come together.

At their core, these are nervous system issues. They tend to come with several other symptoms as well, including nausea, light sensitivity, and sound sensitivity.

Inner Ear Infection

Another cause of vertigo is an inner ear infection. This is more formally referred to as labyrinthitis, and, like migraines and BPPV, it has to do with the nervous system within the head and the neck.

Other symptoms of inner ear infections include nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and balance issues, to name just a few.

Concussions

Concussions often lead to vertigo as well, particularly if they affect the vestibular nerve. Their results can be both long-term and short-term.

In any case, make sure to see a doctor as soon as a concussion has occurred. The sooner the condition is treated, the more its effects can be minimized.

Treatment for Vertigo

The treatment for dizziness is fairly simple. Generally speaking, eating, sleeping, and resting will cause dizziness to subside.

Vertigo, on the other hand, doesn’t go away this simply. It requires extensive and repeated treatment.

This starts with the person suffering from it. You, the affected individual, must take it easy on your body, getting up slowly from sitting positions and potentially even using canes to stabilize yourself.

As far as formal treatment goes, both physical therapy and medication are viable options. Antihistamines, in particular, have proven effective in treating vertigo symptoms.

The physical therapy needed to treat vertigo symptoms usually involves movements of the head. You’ll need to do these movements not only with your doctors but on your own as well.

The truth is that it’s not always possible to get rid of vertigo. In fact, you could be dealing with it for the rest of your life. But that doesn’t mean you can’t combat its symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Speak with your physician to see what you can do about your condition. He or she might recommend you to a specialist. A specialist will be able to provide you with personalized treatment.

Looking for Similar Information?

And there they are, the differences in vertigo vs dizziness. As you can see, these conditions are similar but different. They have different causes and therefore necessitate different treatments as well.

In any case, if you’re suffering from one of these conditions chronically, you should see a doctor. That way, you can get the treatment you really need and become aware of any underlying conditions that may be harming you.

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