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Headaches & Dizziness
Written By : M. Lieberman 
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Although a headache and dizziness are two separate and distinct conditions, there are many people who can experience them at the same time. What are the circumstances that might cause both dizziness and a headache to occur at precisely the same time? There are at least five possible causes that need to be considered when it happens.

I have never really understood how athletes, especially figure skaters can do the spins, without getting dizzy. Although getting drunk can cause both headache and dizziness, but the dizziness that is caused by vertigo is more serious, as it involves a problem with your equilibrium, controlled by the inner ear. It is a horrible and terrifying experience to experience frequent episodes of vertigo, with or without a headache.

The two are different conditions but one can cause the the other.

It may begin as a headache, but the pain can bring about dizziness as well. You may also experience a spinning sensation (dizziness or vertigo) and this can trigger a headache or make an existing headache worse. Even though both headache and dizziness are separate conditions, there can be a link between them. Treating the symptoms of one can improve the other.

Is it a migraine? Dizziness can definitely be part of a migraine and they are referred to as migraine associated vertigo. The episodes of dizziness can happen at any time: before the headache, during the headache or after the headache.

Dizziness or vertigo can cause symptoms which can include: partial vision loss or double vision, loss of coordination, numbness (on one or both sides of the body), slurred speech, weakness, ringing in the ears, severe vomiting and general confusion. Any or all of these symptoms can subside when the headache begins, but it is also possible that some of the symptoms can last for several days, even after the pain goes away.

During a migraine attack, it is possible that the pain, nausea and discomfort can make you feel dizzy. Dizziness can also occur after a migraine attack, much like a bad a hangover. Many individuals who have migraine associated vertigo also ten suffer from motion sickness.

A headache with dizziness could be symptoms of a potentially life threatening medical problem.

  • Head injury or neck trauma from some type of accident
  • Tempromandibular Joint Syndrome may cause pain every time you move your mouth and jaw.
  • Pain in the ears like a ringing sensation (tinnitus) and hearing loss
  • Heat exhaustion from the sun can cause both headache and dizziness. The person will also look very pale, crave something to drink, sweat profusely, feel very weak, nausea and even vomiting.
  • Stroke has symptoms can occur suddenly. Typically the individual can experience any or all of the following: trouble walking, confusion, feeling disoriented, trouble speaking, difficulty understanding, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, vision problems in either one or both eyes, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, especially in the face, arm or leg and a severe headache with no known cause.

Medications have side effects and the two most common side effects seem to be headache and dizziness. Some of the more well known medications have headache and dizziness listed in their list of common side effects.

  • Antihypertensive or blood pressure drugs
  • NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Anti-angina drugs relieve symptoms of angina which is severe chest pain caused by heart disease.

The above list of medications are only a small number and are definitely not conclusive. There are numerous other drugs and medications that have both headache and dizziness listed as common side effects. You need to know the medications you take and consult with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any concerns.

While your body is trying to adjust to the new medication, you may experience both headaches and dizziness. If the headache or dizziness continues for more than a few days or gets worse, check with your doctor immediately. Some of the other common side effects as your body attempts to adjust can include: a flushed face and neck, restlessness, dizziness,  nausea increased pulse, vomiting and feeling light-headed.

Exposure to Toxic Substances like Carbon monoxide poisoning. The gas is colorless, odorless and tasteless and can produce symptoms of headaches, dizziness, nausea, feeling light headed, shortness of breath and death.

Inhaling chemical Fumes like Toluene, which is found petroleum products(gasoline, paint thinners/removers),glue and ammonia. Exposure from the inhalation to high doses can cause severe headache, confusion, nausea and vomiting, delirium or euphoria and uncoordinated bodily movements. 

  More from M. Lieberman
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