Dizziness and headache


Dizziness and headache are two different symptoms, but they often appear together. Under a headache one understands a pain sensation in the head area. The pain can come from the scalp, the bony skull or the meninges, for example. The brain itself has no pain receptors and cannot trigger pain.

dizziness occurs when the sense of balance is impaired. This can cause dizziness many different causes to have. Patients with dizziness feel like the environment revolves around them. Often times, people who are dizzy find it difficult to stand on their feet or throw up.

root cause

Dizziness occurs when there is a disturbance in the area of ​​the human equilibrium system. This includes the inner ear, the eyes, the sense of touch and movement as well as the associated nerve tracts. So dizziness can have many different causes.
Dizziness often occurs after excessive alcohol consumption or when the patient gets up too quickly after lying down for a long time. In both of these cases, the dizziness will go away on its own after a relatively short time. Low or high blood pressure can also lead to dizziness. Vascular disease should always be considered in elderly patients. For example, vascular calcification in the area of ​​the carotid artery is possible. (s. Clogged carotid artery (carotid stenosis)
Heart problems can rarely cause dizziness, as can certain tumors in the head. After head trauma, a fracture of the temporal bone can cause dizziness. If dizziness is a symptom of inflammation of the inner ear or the brain, it must be treated by a doctor in any case to avoid serious consequential damage.

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Also a headache can arise in many different ways. Most often they have no particular cause and pass again after a few hours. Also are often orthopedic problems responsible for headaches. These include, for example Muscle tension and Bad posture of the cervical spine. A common headache is that migraine. Small spasms of blood vessels and tension lead to a strong pain experience in those affected, which occurs regularly and is sometimes associated with certain events. For example, patients complain about one Weather change, Alcohol consumption or stress about migraines. Headache is more rarely a sign of a more severe clinical picture. This includes Inflammation the meninges or the brain, but also Tumors in the head can lead to pain. The fact is that the cause of headaches is still poorly researched as it is many different shapes of headache there.

If headaches and dizziness occur at the same time over a longer period of time, a medical evaluation is always advisable. The most common cause of headaches and dizziness is what is called Dizziness. This is a specific type of migraine that can cause dizziness in addition to headaches. If both symptoms occur suddenly, the doctor must always have one Bleeding in the head exclude.


Both dizziness and headaches are not illnesses in their own right, but symptoms in themselves. That means the two symptoms are just one expression of an underlying medical condition. The most common combination of dizziness and headache is a dizziness migraine.

Read more on the topic: Eye pain


When it comes to diagnosis, you should Headache and dizziness treat separately from each other. At the Headache the diagnosis is usually based on the patient's clinical situation. That means that the doctor first has one conversation leads with the patient. In the so-called anamnese he asks localization, intensity, temporal connection etc. of the headache and tries to assign it to a known headache type based on the information. The anamnesis is followed by a physical examination. The internal organs are roughly examined and tested for disorders. When it comes to headache, the doctor pays attention to the Blood pressure on too neurological symptoms. These include, for example, impaired vision or stiff neck. If the doctor cannot make a clear diagnosis based on the medical history and physical examination, further diagnostics are carried out. This includes a Blood test and possibly one Imaging, for example a MRI of the head. With the help of this data at the latest, it should be possible to classify the headache.

It is very similar when it comes to dizziness. Here, too, the doctor starts a conversation to get more information from the patient. During the subsequent physical examination, the doctor pays particular attention to neurological symptoms. When dizziness occurs in patients often a so-called Nystagmus on. This means an unwanted eye movement in a horizontal plane. Of the Nystagmus can also be provoked with the help of certain glasses. Based on the direction of the nystagmus, the doctor can now make a more precise guess as to the cause of the vertigo. If the doctor does not get any further with the examination, further diagnostics are indicated here as well. Hearing tests, imaging, blood tests, etc. should then lead to a clear diagnosis.

If there is a combination of dizziness and headache, the first thing to do is to clarify dizziness. A strong, one-sided and throbbing pain that worsens under stress is typical for them. If the symptoms are very severe and sudden, a cerebral haemorrhage must also be ruled out.

also read: Dizziness and migraines - what is the underlying disease?


The causes of dizziness and headaches are very diverse

When it comes to therapy, dizziness must be viewed separately from headache, with dizziness in some cases disappearing with headache therapy.

Method of choice for headache therapy Medication. With the classic Tension headache Adults can choose from a variety of preparations. The most common are Aspirin®, Ibuprofen, Diclofenac etc. In children it is common Paracetamol resorted to. If the headache occurs as part of a migraine on, there are special drugs that are used for therapy. These include Triptans, but also Beta blockers and Calcium channel inhibitors. In addition, during an attack, conventional pain relievers can be used.

In the case of dizziness, the therapy is heavily dependent on the causal disease.In most cases, several help Positioning maneuvers by the doctor. At Infections and inflammation the dizziness is fought with medication. A so-called one is very effective Vertigo training. This refers to various physical exercises with which the patient should learn to deal with dizziness. This is effective because the brain is very adaptive and with the exercises it manages to cope with the dizziness.

Headache combined with nausea

Nausea often occurs together with dizziness, but also sometimes with headaches. All three symptoms at the same time usually indicate a migraine. But also very severe headaches, such as cluster headaches, can lead to nausea in patients. Vomiting is not always a given. In rare cases, these symptoms can also be caused by inflammation of the brain or tumors. If the symptoms are very strong and do not go away after a few days, a doctor should be consulted to determine their cause.

Read more on this topic at: Headache with nausea and dizziness, nausea and headache


In some cases, patients sympathize with Headache and dizziness very tired and powerless. This can have many different causes. The tiredness often comes from being too low, rarely from being too high Blood pressure. This can also cause headaches and dizziness. Also sleep disorders and stress can lead to fatigue. At unbalanced diet, little physical activity and low sun exposure can it become a Anemia (anemia) or malnutrition symptoms occur. All of these problems make the patient feel tired and limp. In addition, the immune system is often weakened in the winter months, as a result of which infections can lead to headaches, dizziness and fatigue.
In many cases, the patient's psyche also plays a decisive role. The psyche is closely linked to a person's physical well-being. In the case of psychological impairments, patients often complain of listlessness and tiredness. Some also experience headaches, and more rarely dizziness. Because of this, these symptoms also occur more frequently in winter, as the dreary weather allows many people to stay at home and thus isolate themselves. This can be too depressions which in turn manifests itself in physical suffering.

In combination with an earache

A combination of headache, dizziness, and earache can have many different causes. Often there is a cold with an additional one Inflammation of the ears. In some cases, a migraine headache and dizziness can lead to earache. An orthopedic problem, such as a Misalignment of the cervical spine or one Tension of the neck muscles. In this case, the pain runs from the neck down the back of the head and then spreads over the top of the skull.

Serious illnesses like one Inflammation of the brain, of Inner ear or a Tumor in the head are rather rare, but can also occur. In these cases, however, the symptoms are very strong and therefore easy to distinguish from a cold. In the case of very severe pain that lasts for several days and does not improve, a visit to the doctor is definitely necessary. This then determines the exact cause of the headache, dizziness and earache in order to treat the symptoms as best as possible.

In combination with abdominal pain

If headaches, dizziness and abdominal pain occur together, a large number of different diseases are basically possible. Here is the most common cause of infection. Here the spectrum ranges from a simple cold to the flu or one Glandular fever. A blood test by the doctor is essential for a precise definition.
The infection can also start in the intestine, such as through Salmonella poisoning or one viral bowel inflammation. In this case, too, a visit to the doctor is recommended. Furthermore you can Food intolerance, Allergies or Food poisoning as possible causes of the discomfort come into question. Alternatively you can Misalignments of the spine or Muscle tension cause pain in the back that radiates to the abdomen and head. In rare cases, tumors in the abdomen can also lead to such symptoms.
A doctor's assessment of the pain is particularly important if it persists for several days, is very severe and does not improve on its own. In this case, the doctor must look for the cause in order to avoid dangerous consequential damage.


Tremble is generally a very poor symptom. Most likely leaves the tremors related to the Headache and dizziness a neurological problem suspect. Psychological impairments are also conceivable. These include above all depression, Anxiety disorders and stress. Mental illnesses can express themselves through physical complaints. They often show through a headache and general malaise. migraine is also a common disease associated with tremors. The tremor in this case is due to the strong a headache evoked.
In general, it can be said that you should consult a doctor in the case of very severe pain that lasts longer than three days and does not improve under the usual pain medication. This then clarifies whether it is perhaps a serious clinical picture. He also looks at the patient's psychological state. If depression is noticeable, it must be treated in order to eliminate the headache and dizziness.

In combination with a fever

fever along with Headache and dizziness usually speaks for one infectious disease. Symptoms can be triggered by a common cold or flu. At the same time, caution should be exercised if other severe symptoms occur. If neurological deficits occur, be it due to impaired cognitive performance or due to visual or hearing impairment, a doctor should definitely be consulted. Neurological deficits often speak in favor of meningitis or encephalitis.
In the Meningitis severe neck pain occurs, some of which are so severe that the patients can no longer press their chin onto their chest. This clinical picture would be a classic sign of meningitis. This must always be treated by a doctor as it can have serious consequences. Therefore, you should always consult your family doctor if you have a headache or fever. Its task is then to distinguish whether it is a harmless infection or a serious infection.

During pregnancy

Dizziness and headache occur frequently during the pregnancy on. These symptoms should be managed with pregnancy-appropriate medication. In the second half of pregnancy, severe headaches can be felt for a long period of time pre-eclampsia speak. This is a serious clinical picture that by a high blood pressure and Proteins in the urine is marked. Additionally can Swelling occur on the arms, legs and face. Other symptoms are sudden onset Flickering before the eyes such as Chest pain and a general malaise. If these symptoms are noticed, a visit to the gynecologist is essential. This notes how difficult it is pre-eclampsia is and initiates treatment accordingly. In mild cases, the pregnant women can stay at home and visit the gynecologist at regular intervals for checks. If the disease is severe, the mother should be hospitalized and treated. The pre-eclampsia poses a danger to both the mother and the child, as it can lead to an undersupply of the child in the womb.

In combination with chest pain

Chest pain is rarely associated with headache and dizziness. Often the cause is not physical, but psychological. With strong stress or depressions emotional suffering can project itself onto the body and lead to pain. One would also be possible Tension around the neck, causing pain in both the head and chest. Serious illnesses, such as a heart or cerebral infarction, are unlikely with mild symptoms, but still possible.
If the symptoms are very strong and do not improve for a few days despite pain medication, the family doctor should always be consulted. A conversation and a physical exam should then provide the final diagnosis. If there is any uncertainty, further tests are carried out, such as one Blood test or one Imaging. By then at the latest, the cause of the pain should be found.