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What Are the Most Common Causes of Headaches and Dizziness?

Ear infections can cause dizziness and headaches.
Eye strain may cause headaches.
Riding a roller coaster can cause dizziness.
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  • Written By: Matthew Brodsky
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 09 April 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Headaches and dizziness often go hand in hand, but sometimes these symptoms appear on their own. They can be an everyday, minor ailment, or they can indicate something more serious. Dizziness, for example, can be the result of the change in blood pressure when someone stands up too quickly, or it can be the sign of a dangerous infection. Headaches can occur because of the tension of a bad day, or they can be migraines or a symptom of cancer.

One common cause of headaches and dizziness is an ear infection. The inner ear is the part of the body that is responsible for a person's balance. When this part of the ear becomes infected and swollen, a person can become disoriented. The loss in balance can be felt as dizziness, and if the infection becomes severe, it infection can lead to headaches and throbbing.

Another common cause of both headaches and dizziness can be certain medications that a person is taking. All medications have side effects, and when medicines are taken together, the mixture can lead to further side effects. When taking a medicine for the first time, it is important to consult with a doctor about whether it will cause headaches and dizziness or other side effects. A physician can also discuss whether other medications will interact with the new medicine and cause other problems.

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When a person suffers from only vertigo, the cause may be problems with blood flow. Insufficient blood flowing to the brain can lead to lost balance and dizziness. These situations can occur when someone stands up too fast, or if they have eaten too large a meal. The problem can be aggravated if a person is older or has a pre-existing condition such as heart disease.

Some conditions can cause headaches without accompanying dizziness. These can include infections of the mouth, gum disease, cavities, impacted teeth, and nerve damage. When colds spread into a person's sinuses, the infection can cause pressure to build, leading to pain in the face and in the head. Eye strain, allergies, and weather conditions have also been linked to headaches.

Causes of headaches and dizziness can be serious, even life threatening. Cluster headaches, for example, are a type of headache that can be linked to health conditions such as metabolic disorders, heart disease, and even tumors. Dizziness and headache may occur after a severe brain injury, such as a concussion, and can indicate that a person needs immediate medical attention. Though not life threatening, migraines are also a health condition with symptoms that include headaches and vertigo. Migraines often disrupt a person's everyday work and family life because of the pain and disorientation that they can cause.

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