What Causes Vertigo and Dizziness? 7 Common Causes

Dizziness is complicated and confusing, causing great concern and anxiety in those who experience it. In fact, it is the second most common reason for doctor visits. Many people don’t understand the condition, and seeing three different doctors can lead to three different explanations for your symptoms. The seven most common causes of dizziness are listed below to help you understand.

Common Causes of Dizziness

Here, we will go over some potential causes of dizziness, ranging from short-term physical effects to more serious underlying medical issues.

1. Postural Hypotension

This temporary dizziness, also known as orthostatic hypotension, happens due to a sudden drop in blood pressure when sitting or standing up quickly. There is usually a history of low blood pressure (120 systolic / 80 diastolic mm Hg on average). Check your blood pressure while lying down and compare it to sitting or standing. A significant difference between your systolic and diastolic pressures (more than 20 mm) could cause your dizziness.

2. Vertigo

Many people interchangeably use “vertigo” and “dizziness.” Although these conditions produce similar sensations, they differ slightly. Someone who is dizzy may feel woozy or disoriented. Vertigo, on the other hand, is the abnormal sensation of movement. Vertigo can make people feel as if their surroundings are spinning or tilting.

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3. Circulatory Problems

Dizziness symptoms can be caused by conditions that affect blood circulation or general cardiovascular health. Anemia (low red blood cell count), hormonal changes (as with menstrual cycles and menopause), blood clots, atherosclerosis, and dehydration are all common causes. Seek professional help if you’re looking for dizziness treatment.

4. Migraine

A migraine is a headache that causes pulsing or throbbing on one side of the head. People may experience dizziness before the onset of a migraine episode. Other neurologic symptoms, known as auras, can occur before the pain of a migraine headache. Auras can impair vision, speech, and motor control.

When migraines are consistently accompanied by dizziness, this is known as vestibular migraine or migraine-associated vertigo. Vestibular rehabilitation, medication, and avoiding migraine triggers can be beneficial in this situation.

5. Cardiovascular Disease

According to research, heart disease is one of the leading causes of dizziness symptoms. Check to see if you’ve had a recent physical and if your blood work is up to date. A cardiac stress test and ECG may be required to rule out this common cause definitively. Dizziness can be caused by cardiovascular conditions such as plaque buildup in the arteries and congestive heart failure. Dizziness or lightheadedness may occur before or after a heart attack or stroke.

6. Anxiety, Stress, and Depression

Depression and anxiety are commonly misunderstood as purely psychological issues, even though they have real physical effects on our body processes. A sudden flare-up in this area (e.g., a panic attack), excessive exposure to stress (work, family, finances, health), or long-term, unmanaged anxiety and depression can all result in irregular nervous system activity, which can cause dizziness.


Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD) is a condition characterized by non-spinning dizziness and unsteadiness caused by environmental or social factors. Some people who have neural circuit dizziness or vertigo may develop PPPD and experience chronic dizziness. It is now recognized as the most common vestibular condition affecting people aged 30 to 50 and also the second most common diagnosis for all vestibular patients.

Final Thoughts

Experiencing severe or sudden dizziness can be very uncomfortable. Common medical conditions that cause dizziness include stress, anxiety, and low blood sugar. Diagnosing the root cause of your dizziness can be challenging even for doctors and specialists. If a person experiences severe or recurring dizziness, they should consult their doctor.