What are the Most Common Causes of Headaches and Dizziness?

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  • Written By: Matthew Brodsky
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 11 September 2019
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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.


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 they can cause.


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Post 3

@Ana1234 - Constant headaches and dizziness isn't a minor symptom though. My mother started getting these and blamed it on not being very fit, but it turned out to be her heart failing. She ended up having to get a pacemaker put in and the doctors told her that if she had delayed any more she might have been in real trouble.

The problem is balancing between wanting to catch something before it becomes a serious problem and not wanting to go to the doctor for no reason. Everyone has to learn how to trust their own intuition on this I guess.

Post 2

@irontoenail - It depends on how severe the symptoms are, to be honest. My family tends to get very sharp tension headaches whenever we are stressed and it's because we hold ourselves really tense under those conditions and end up inflaming the tendons around that area.

If you get headaches everyday and there is no obvious cause of them, I would go and get them checked out. But a sudden headache with mild dizziness is a fairly common symptom and unless there are other symptoms to go with it, I'd be inclined to tell someone to just take a bit of pain medication and get some sleep. And that's what a doctor would tell them to do as well.

Post 1

I'm a big fan of the idea that if you experience something like a headache with dizziness out of the blue, you should go to a doctor and get yourself checked out. I've known too many people who didn't go and get checked when they had something wrong that was easily fixable.

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