Dizziness And Vertigo


Dizziness is an altered sensation of spatial orientation or a distortion where you are within a space and your balance just feels off. Vertigo, on the other hand, is the sensation of movement of the surroundings (a spinning sensation precisely).  

Dizziness basically isn’t a disease rather a symptom of various disorders. It affects the sensory organs, especially the eyes and ears, eventually sometimes causing fainting.

It is common and the underlying cause usually isn’t that serious. Occasional dizziness is not something to worry about but you should be concerned if experiencing replicating episodes of dizziness for no apparent reason or for a prolonged period of time.

In vertigo, you may feel that your surroundings are in motion when they actually aren’t.

The symptoms will entirely depend on what’s causing the episodes and the type of vertigo you have. Simple movements seem intense with vertigo and the condition may greatly impact your everyday life.

Sometimes, dizziness and vertigo are often used interchangeably. However, these different terms actually describe two different types of sensations.

Both dizziness and vertigo can affect your balance and movement to a good extent.


People suffering from dizziness and vertigo may narrate it as any of several sensations, such as:

• A feeling of floating or heavy headedness

• A false sense of motion or spinning

• Lightheadedness or feeling faint

• Nausea 

• Vomiting

• Problems focussing eyes/ear

• A loss of balance

These feelings may get worsened if walking, standing up, or moving your head. Sometimes, dizziness maybe accompanied by nausea or be so sudden or severe that you need to sit or lie down. The episode may last seconds or days and may occur.


Dizziness and vertigo have several possible causes, including ear/eye disturbance, motion sickness, migraine, alcohol and medication effects. Sometimes it’s due to underlying health conditions, such as infection, poor circulation, or injury. The way dizziness makes you feel provides clues for many possible causes. How long the dizziness lasts and any other symptoms you have also help pinpoint the cause of dizziness and vertigo.

In some cases, dizziness is a result of vertigo as well. The most common cause noticed of vertigo and vertigo-related dizziness is benign positional vertigo. Some other possible causes are:

• Sudden drop-in blood pressure

• Decrease in blood volume

• Double vision

• Dehydration

• Heatstroke

• Heart muscle disease

In rare cases, dizziness could be caused by multiple sclerosis, a stroke, a malignant tumor or even brain disorder.


Many studies have shown that vestibular physiotherapy is very helpful in the treatment of people with dizziness and vertigo. Improved function, increased balance and reduced risk of falling are some of the benefits of it.  The physical therapist with specific skills in vestibular rehabilitation would conduct a comprehensive assessment of your case and also in many cases would be able to establish the cause for the symptoms.

Vestibular physiotherapy involves habituation exercises, gaiz stabilization, eye-head coordination exercises and balance/gait exercises.

Habituation exercises are used to treat people who acknowledge dizziness as a result of damage to their vestibular system. The exercises focus on reducing the frequency and strength of dizzy spells over time.

Gait stabilization exercises are used for patients who have difficulty in controlling the movements of their eyes, particularly when they are moving their heads. These exercises can help people to regain more control over their eyes.

Balancing exercises would vary more widely on a case-by-case basis than habituation or gaze stabilization exercises. These exercises required will depend on the stimulus that triggers the issue.

Improper exercises could worsen the problem, and there could be a risk of injury, particularly for those who have balancing issues. So, it is wise to consult with a physical therapist who would examine your case and lay out appropriate exercises.


The best way to treat dizziness and vertigo is to track down the cause and treat that. 

However, it is often seen that no cause is found. The best thing to do under those circumstances is to figure out the triggers causing dizziness and try to avert those triggers.

Unfortunately, it is sometimes not easy to figure out the triggers. Eventually, you need immediate medical treatment.

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