10 surprising facts about dizziness and vertigo

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Dizzy spells and vertigo may be caused by different factors. Learn the potential reasons you may be dizzy, plus why you may be experiencing nausea

(Sara Altshul/ Everyday Health) — Many of us have found ourselves asking the question, be it on ordinary days or in times of illness, “Why am I dizzy?”

While dizzy spells can be uncomfortable, it probably won’t surprise you to learn that occasional dizziness is very common in adults. But you may not have suspected that vertigo — a related but more serious condition that makes you feel like the room is spinning as you stand still — is also common, affecting nearly 40 percent of people over age 40 at least once in their lifetime, according to the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

So, how do you know if you have vertigo or ordinary dizziness? The main difference is vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting — and may be a symptom of a serious balance disorder — while dizziness simply makes you feel momentarily unbalanced. That said, dizzy spells can range in severity from merely annoying to seriously debilitating.

Here’s what causes vertigo and general dizziness — plus what to do if you experience one of these episodes. (…)

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