Headaches and dizziness are two conditions. However, in some people, the two can appear simultaneously. This can be extremely debilitating and disrupts an individual’s productivity. Understanding what causes each and how to treat both will help affected individuals stop the attacks and continue leading a normal and productive life.
- A headache is defined as a pain or aching that occurs in the person’s head.
- Dizziness is defined as impairment in stability and special perception.
- The two can occur separately from different triggers.
- In some cases, the two can appear simultaneously.
- In other cases, either of the two can be the cause for the other to appear. Such as the headache causes the dizziness or the dizziness causes the headache.
There are many reasons that can explain why some people experience both simultaneously.
- There is also a medical condition that is characterized by the appearance of both headache and dizziness known as migraine-associated vertigo.
- Migraine-associated vertigo is defined as a recurrent headache that is accompanied by dizziness, vertigo, and other symptoms such as nausea and light sensitivity.
- Migraine-associated vertigo or MAV does not fit into any of the migraine classifications but it is increasingly becoming popular as a diagnosis for patients experiencing recurrent headaches coupled with dizziness.
- Patients with MAV experience symptoms such as:
- Chronic dizziness when still
- Recurrent rotational vertigo
- Severe motion intolerance
- Chronic headaches daily
- Migraine headaches
- Poor visual acuity
- Light sensitivity
Causes Of Recurring Pain In Head And Dizziness
The following has been identified as possible causes of headaches and dizziness:
- The pain associated with a headache triggers the dizziness.
- The dizziness triggers the headache.
- Dizziness being part of a migraine attack such as the case with Migraine associated vertigo.
- Headaches and dizziness may be symptoms of underlying medical conditions such as:
- Head injury
- Trauma to the neck
- Temporomandibular joint syndrome
- Heat exhaustion
- Side effects of medications such as:
- Antianginal drugs
- Exposure to certain substances such as:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning or exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide.
- Exposure to toluene present in paint thinners, paint removers, correction fluid, and gasoline.
Treatment For Continuous Dizziness And Headache
Treatments for constant pain in head and dizziness are quite common. The general rule observed is treat one in order to treat the other.
Vestibular rehabilitation therapy
- First line: Calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, beta blockers.
- Second line: Topiramate, venlafaxine, methysergide, valproic acid, acetazolamide.
- Diet restrictions
- Avoid MSG or foods containing MSG.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid foods such as aged cheese and chocolate.
- Avoid aspartame or foods contained aspartame.