Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Vertigo and Dizziness

Vertigo vs Dizziness

Have you ever felt that your head is spinning? How about feeling suddenly nauseated and confused for a moment? These situations sometimes occur without any warning at all, and usually, they just come and go. These are times wherein we suffer from a sudden attack of dizziness, lightheadedness, and confusion. Sometimes the event lasts for only a second, but at times, it lasts from mere minutes to hours. The reasons for these occurrences may vary, but it is better that we know what they are and what could have caused them.

At times, we feel like we are losing our balance and going to have a blackout. The normal reaction would be to stay still or look for something to hold on to, since we might actually fall down and be injured. Some people, who have been lying down for quite some time, may feel dizzy and lightheaded when they suddenly stand upright. They would complain that they feel dizzy, while others would say that they feel they suffered from a moment of vertigo. Although these words are normally used to describe such events and are often used interchangeably, they do have different meanings and significance.

First, let’s discuss the term dizziness. What you have to know is that dizziness is the description used to a general sensation of symptoms a person may have. It is the common word used to denote sensations of confusion that cause uncomfortable feelings to a person. This means that how they signify dizziness stems from a wide range of sensations, from being lightheaded, feelings of blacking out, to losing our balance. There are many causes of dizziness, from sudden decrease of oxygen to the brain due to changes in positions, like when you suddenly stand up after lying down for quite some time, to ear infections, and even motion sickness.

Vertigo, on the other hand, has a distinct definition that gives it its main characteristic. It is a more defined feeling of dizziness. The basic thing that we have to remember is that vertigo refers to a spinning sensation in our head that leads to confusion. This is the main defining characteristic of the term. It may cause injuries if the disorientation becomes too much.

In most cases, vertigo is due to lack of oxygen supply to the brain. This is the why it is imperative that after lying down for a long time, you have to slowly sit down before standing up. The changes in the position allow your body to adjust and blood to be adequately supplied to the brain.

You can ready further about this since only basic details are provided here.


1. Dizziness and vertigo are often caused by decreased blood supply to the brain, ear infections, or alterations in balance.

2. Dizziness refers to the general term used to denote lightheadedness, confusion, and loss of balance.

3. Vertigo indicates a spinning sensation that causes disorientation.

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  1. Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness.

    Vertigo is a sensation of spinning, typically where the environment is moving.

    The two sensations are very different from one another. Vertigo is NOT caused by blood flow problems. That is lightheadedness typically due to rising too quickly from a prone or seated position. Typically, vertigo is caused by inner ear problems. However, it can also be a symptom associated with other quite serious conditions.

    Obviously, this article was not written by nor posted by a doctor. I hope that anyone who reads this for advice will continue doing research online for a more medically sound article, preferably one that is clearly written by someone who is trained and/or experienced and can communicate accurate information.

    To not address these health issues properly can be deadly as vertigo can be caused by stroke, brain tumors, etc. If you have vertigo, and are not merely feeling a little dizziness, see a doctor immediately.

  2. Spot on! It is good to see such a clear definition of the difference between dizziness and vertigo, as the cause and treatment are often different.


    Dr Matt

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