Dizziness and headache are two different symptoms that often occur together. Headache is a sensation of pain in the area of ​​the head. For example, the pain can come from the scalp, bony skull, or meninges. The brain itself has no pain receptors and can not trigger pain.

Dizziness occurs when the sense of balance is damaged. The dizziness can have many different causes. Dizziness patients feel that the environment is spinning around them. Often patients with dizziness can hardly stand on their feet or have to vomit.


Dizziness is caused by a disturbance in the area of ​​the human balance system. This includes the inner ear, the eyes, the sense of touch and movement as well as associated nerve pathways. Thus, dizziness can have many different causes.
Often dizziness occurs after excessive alcohol consumption or if the patient gets up too soon after a long time. In these two cases, dizziness disappears on its own after a relatively short time. Also, too low or too high blood pressure can lead to vertigo attacks. In elderly patients, vascular disease should always be considered. Possible, for example, a vascular calcification in the carotid artery. ( see clogged carotid artery (carotid stenosis))
Heart problems can also cause dizziness in rare cases, as well as certain tumors in the head. After cranial trauma, a fracture of the petrous bone can cause dizziness. If dizziness is a symptom of inflammation of the inner ear or brain, it must definitely be treated by a doctor to avoid serious consequential harm.

  • Fever, dizziness and headache
  • Causes of headache

Headaches can also come in many different ways. Most often, they have no special cause and disappear after a few hours. In addition, orthopedic problems are often responsible for headaches. These include, for example, muscle tension and incorrect posture of the cervical spine. A common headache is migraine. Small cramping of the vessels and tension leads to a strong pain experience in those affected, which occurs regularly and is sometimes associated with certain events. For example, patients complain of a change in weather, alcohol consumption or stress about migraine. More rarely, headache is a sign of a more severe disease. These include inflammation of the meninges or the brain, but also tumors in the head can lead to pain. The fact is that the cause of headaches is poorly understood, as there are so many different types of headaches.

If headaches and dizziness occur at the same time over a longer period of time, then in any case a medical examination is advisable. The most common cause of headache and dizziness is dizziness migraine. It is a specific type of migraine that can cause dizziness in addition to headache. If both symptoms abruptly on the doctor always exclude a bleeding in the head.


Both dizziness and headache are not stand-alone diseases but themselves symptoms. This means that the two symptoms are just an expression of an underlying condition. Dizziness and headache are most common with vertiginous Migraine.


When it comes to diagnosis, headaches and dizziness should be treated separately. In headache, the diagnosis is usually made about the clinical situation of the patient. This means that the doctor first talks to the patient. In the so-called anamnesis, he asks for localization, intensity, temporal relationship, etc. of the headache and tries to use the information to associate it with a known type of headache. After the anamnesis, a physical examination is carried out. The internal organs are roughly examined and tested for disturbances. When it comes to headache, the doctor not only monitors blood pressure but also neurological symptoms. These include, for example, visual disturbance or neck stiffness. If the doctor can not make a definite diagnosis after the anamnesis and after the physical examination, further diagnostics will be carried out. This includes a blood test and if necessary an imaging, for example an MRI of the head. At the latest by using this data, the headache should be classified.

Dizziness is very similar. Again, the doctor starts a conversation to get more information from the patient. In the subsequent physical examination, the doctor pays particular attention to neurological symptoms. When dizziness often occurs in patients so-called nystagmus . This is an unwanted eye movement in a horizontal plane. The nystagmus can also be provoked with the help of certain glasses. Based on the direction of nystagmus, the doctor can now make a more accurate guess as to the cause of the dizziness. If the doctor does not continue with the examination, a further diagnosis is indicated here as well. Hearing tests, imaging, blood tests, etc. should then lead to a clear diagnosis.

In a combination of dizziness and headache, it is primarily a vertigo migraine clarify. These are characterized by a strong, one-sided and throbbing pain that worsens under exercise. In addition, with a very strong and sudden symptomatology, cerebral hemorrhage must be ruled out.


The causes of dizziness and headaches are very diverse

On the subject of therapy, the dizziness of the headache must be considered separately, the dizziness disappears in some cases with the therapy of headache.

Method of choice for the treatment of headaches are medications. In classical tension-type headache, adults can choose from a variety of preparations. The most common are Aspirin®, ibuprofen, diclofenac, etc. In children, paracetamol is often used. If the headache occurs as part of a migraine, there are special drugs that are used for therapy. These include triptans, but also beta-blockers and calcium channel inhibitors. In addition, conventional analgesics can be used during an attack.

In dizziness, the therapy is highly dependent on the causative disease. In most cases, various storage maneuvers help by the doctor. In case of infections and inflammation, dizziness is combated by medication. Very effective is a so-called dizziness training. These are various physical exercises with which the patient should learn to deal with the dizziness. This is effective because the brain is very adaptive and manages to cope with the dizziness with the exercises.

Headache combined with nausea

Nausea is often associated with dizziness, but also partial headache. All three symptoms at the same time usually speak for a migraine headache. But even very severe headaches, such as cluster headache, can cause nausea in patients. It is not always a vomiting. In rare cases, these symptoms may also be caused by inflammation of the brain or by tumors. If the symptoms are very severe and do not go away after a few days, a doctor should always be consulted to determine their cause.


In some cases, patients with headaches and dizziness feel very tired and powerless. This can have many different causes. Tiredness is often due to low blood pressure and rarely high blood pressure. This can also cause headaches and dizziness. Sleep disorders and stress can also lead to fatigue. An unbalanced diet, lack of physical activity, and low sun exposure can lead to anemia ( anemia ) or nutritional deficiencies. All these problems make the patient feel tired and tired. In addition, during the winter months, the immune system is often weakened, which can lead to headaches, dizziness and tiredness.
In many cases, the psyche of patients also plays a crucial role. The psyche is closely linked to the physical well-being of man. Patients with mental health problems often complain of listlessness and tiredness. Some of them also have headaches, and more rarely dizziness. Because of this, these symptoms also occur more frequently in winter, as the dull weather leaves many people at home and thus isolate themselves. This can lead to depression, which manifests itself in physical suffering.

In combination with earache

A combination of headache, dizziness and earache can have many different causes. Common is a cold with additional inflammation of the ears. In some cases, a migraine headache and dizziness can cause earache. Also possible is an orthopedic problem, such as malalignment of the cervical spine or tension in the neck muscles. The pain then pulls from the neck along the back of the head and then spreads over the skullcap.

Serious diseases, such as brain, inner ear or tumor in the head, are rare but may occur. In these cases, however, the symptoms are very strong and thus easily distinguishable from a cold. For very severe pain that lasts for several days and not better, a visit to the doctor is definitely necessary. This then determines with 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 is possible. The most common cause is an infection. Here, the spectrum ranges from a simple cold to a flu or a Pfeifferschem glandular fever. For a precise limitation, a blood test at the doctor is essential.
Likewise, the infection may emanate from the intestine, such as by Salmonella poisoning or viral bowel inflammation. Also in this case, a visit to the doctor is recommended. Furthermore, food intolerances, allergies or food poisoning may be the possible causes of the complaints. Alternatively, malpositions of the spine or muscle tension in the back can lead to pain that radiate in the abdomen and head. In rare cases, tumors in the abdomen can lead to such symptoms.
A medical clarification of the pain is especially important if they persist over several days, are very strong and do not improve on their own. In this case, the doctor must look for the cause to avoid dangerous consequential damage.


Trembling is generally a very low-grade symptom. Most likely, the tremors associated with the headache and dizziness suggest a neurological problem. Also mental impairment are conceivable. These include, in particular, depression, anxiety disorders and stress. Mental illness can manifest itself through physical complaints. These are often due to headaches and general malaise. Migraine is also a common disease associated with tremors. The tremor is caused in this case by the severe headache.
In general, one should go to a doctor for very severe pain, lasting more than three days and not getting better under the usual pain medication. This then clarifies whether it is perhaps a serious disease. He also looks at the mental state of the patient. In case of severe depression this must be treated to be able to eliminate the headache and dizziness.

In combination with fever

Fever along with headache and dizziness usually speaks for an infectious disease. A simple cold or flu can be the trigger of the symptoms. At the same time, caution should be exercised when more severe symptoms occur. If it comes to neurological deficits, either by a limitation of cognitive performance or by visual or hearing impairment, a doctor should be consulted in any case. Neurological deficits often speak for a meningitis or brain inflammation.
Meningitis causes severe neck pain, sometimes so severe that patients can no longer press their chin against the chest. This disease would be a classic sign of meningitis. This must always be treated by a doctor, as it can have serious consequences. Therefore, one should always visit the family doctor for headaches and fever. Its task is then to distinguish whether it is a harmless infection or a serious infection.

During pregnancy

Dizziness and headaches often occur during pregnancy. These symptoms should be treated with pregnancy-appropriate medication. In the second half of pregnancy, severe headaches can be prone to pre-eclampsia over an extended period of time. It is a serious disease characterized by hypertension and urinary proteins. In addition, swelling of the arms, legs and face may occur. Other symptoms include a sudden flare of the eyes, chest pain and general malaise. If these symptoms are noticed, a visit to the gynecologist is essential. This determines how severe the preeclampsia is and initiates treatment accordingly. In mild cases, the pregnant women can stay at home and visit the gynecologist at regular intervals to check. In a severe case, the mother should be hospitalized and treated. Pre-eclampsia poses a risk to both the mother and the child as it can lead to malnutrition in the womb child.

In combination with chest pain

Chest pain rarely occurs along with headache and dizziness. Often the cause is not physical, but psychic. In case of severe stress or depression emotional distress can be projected on the body causing pain. It could also be a tension in the neck, which lead to both pain in the head and in the chest. Serious illnesses such as a heart or cerebral infarction are unlikely with mild symptoms, but still possible.
If the symptoms are very severe and do not improve over a few days despite the pain medication, the family doctor should be consulted in any case. A conversation and a physical exam should then provide the final diagnosis. In case of uncertainty, further tests are made, such as a blood test or imaging. At the latest then the cause of the pain should be found.

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