Top 10 Signs of Vertigo

It comes on suddenly, often with little to no warning. You’re minding your own business, attending to errands and going about your day, when suddenly the room starts to spin. It feels as if the entire world has been tilted on its axis, bumped out of equilibrium by some sort of galactic hip check. Your body remains still, but you still feel a sense of uneasy motion. You may feel nauseous, disoriented or uncomfortable, even scared. It may feel like a medical emergency, but what you’re most likely experiencing is the symptoms of vertigo.

Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from vertigo in some form, including an estimated 35 percent of people over age 40. What causes vertigo is most often a disruption in the normal function of the inner ear, commonly brought about by an inner ear infection or a disease such as Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Serious head injuries and severe migraines may also trigger symptoms of vertigo. More rarely, conditions such as multiple sclerosis, neurodegenerative disorders and brain tumors can also cause vertigo effects.

Worried that you may be suffering from this condition? Read on to learn about the ten most common signs associated with vertigo.


Call it stating the obvious, but the primary sign of vertigo is, well, vertigo. Medically speaking, vertigo is a specific kind of dizziness characterized by feeling the sensation of movement even while you’re stationary. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, but it’s most often described as a feeling that the world around you is spinning, tilting, reeling or otherwise in motion. It may also feel as if your body itself is in motion.

This may come and go in a matter of moments, or it may linger for several hours or longer. The feeling is often exacerbated when you move your head and may sometimes ease or disappear entirely when you lay down.

Loss of Balance

Going hand-in-hand with dizziness, another key sign of vertigo is a loss of balance. If you’ve ever had a little too much to drink, you’re probably quite familiar with this sensation.

You may feel as if the world itself is swaying and buckling, almost like you’re standing atop a bowl of Jell-O during a slow-motion earthquake. Even if you’re standing still, it may feel as though you’re being gently pulled to one side. In severe cases, walking may become extremely difficult and even dangerous. / /


Picture yourself riding a rollercoaster with an endless series of loops and spins and inversions, or standing aboard the deck of a ship in rough waters, constantly bobbing and heaving and rolling with the waves.

Feeling sick yet? It should come as no surprise, then, that nausea is another common symptom that often accompanies vertigo. Dizziness and balance issues are well-known triggers of nausea, and vertigo may cause acute motion sickness-like symptoms in some people. In severe cases, vertigo may even cause vomiting.

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