You stand and suddenly the world spins around you. Or you feel lightheaded, faint, and woozy and you need to sit down. In the first scenario, we’re describing vertigo, while dizziness covers the second.
Approximately one-third of Americans experience brief episodes of dizziness or vertigo at various points in their lives. If you’re having ongoing problems with these balance issues, it’s important to figure out why, and this starts with pinning down your symptoms more accurately.
To help you figure out whether you’re dealing with vertigo or dizziness, our team of neurology experts here at Complete Neurological Care presents the following.
Vertigo and dizziness are balance issues
What vertigo and dizziness have in common is that they are both conditions that involve a lack of balance that can lead to unsteadiness. Your balance is dictated by many things, including your:
- Inner ears
- Musculoskeletal structure
When dizziness and/or vertigo are part of your imbalance, figuring out which symptom you’re experiencing helps us narrow down the potential culprit behind your balance issues.
Dizziness versus vertigo
Now let’s get to the meat of the conversation and take a closer look at the differences between vertigo and dizziness.
Dizziness is the more common of the two and is often described as an alteration in your spatial awareness and orientation in which you feel foggy, woozy, lightheaded, and/or unsteady. About 15% of the population has dizziness at any given time.
Vertigo is far less common and is more specific. It is a sensation in which you are moving or the world around you is moving (even though neither is actually moving). This movement is most often described as spinning or whirling, and these sensations can be strong enough that they lead to nausea and vomiting.
Causes of dizziness and vertigo
The primary reason why it’s important to distinguish between dizziness and vertigo is that they can be the result of very different problems.
Some common causes of dizziness include:
- Low blood sugar
- Panic attacks
- Certain medications
When it comes to vertigo, primary causes include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (problem in the inner ear)
- Meniere's disease
- Head injuries
- Multiple sclerosis
- Viral illnesses
As you can see, the potential causes of dizziness and vertigo are quite different, which is why you should seek our help.
Our team of vestibular experts has considerable experience helping people with balance issues that include dizziness and/or vertigo, and we can help make your world steady again.
To get to the bottom of your ongoing dizziness or vertigo issues, please contact one of our offices in Boynton Beach, Boca Raton, or Margate, Florida, to schedule an appointment.