Dizziness can refer to a number of sensations, including feeling light-headed, feeling weak, feeling faint, and feeling confused, or having vertigo. In most cases, dizziness is the result of a minor health condition, but it can sometimes indicate a serious underlying condition, especially when you experience dizziness when moving your head. Let's find out more about some possible issues leading to dizziness.

The Most Common Cause – Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo (BPPV)


What Is BBPV?

Triggered by the movement of your head, BPPV is among the most common causes of vertigo. This can cause dizziness while you are lying down, standing, or just turning your head too fast. The dizziness can last for a few seconds, but usually goes away once you have stopped the movement of your head. Sometimes, you also feel nauseous.

Anyone can get this type of dizziness, but it is more common in the elderly. Along with dizziness, some other common symptoms associated with BPPV are lightheadedness, nausea, a sense of imbalance, and vomiting.


What Causes BPPV?

You develop BPPV when otoconia or calcium carbonate crystals move into the semicircular canals and become trapped there. Semicircular canals are one of the vestibular organs of the inner ear that controls balance. The otoconia is a part of the structure of the utricle, which is a vestibular organ that next to the semicircular canals. The otoconia may become loose due to an injury to the utricle, age, or infection, but when these particles enter the utricle, they get dissolved naturally. This does not happen when the otoconia enter the semicircular canals. They will move around and irritate the tiny hairs that line the semicircular canals. Those hairs send information about balance directly to your brain. You will develop vertigo when the hairs are stimulated by the rolling otoconia. 


Treatment for BPPV

Here are some possible treatme00nt options to treat BPPV and prevent dizziness when moving head.

  • The Epley Maneuver: The maneuver works when there are crystals at the bottom of your semicircular canals. It involves a series of 4 head movements where your head is held in position for about 30 seconds following each movement. This causes the semicircular canal to move around so that the otoconia move out because of the gravity and settle into the vestibule where they can’t cause any symptoms. The maneuver usually proves effective for 8 out of 10 patients. If it doesn’t work, you can try it after about a week or so.

  • Brandt-Daroff Exercises: It involves moving your head in a specific way to change the position of the crystals. Simply sit in an upright position and then gently lie down on one side with your nose pointing up at 45 degrees. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds and then return to the sitting position. Repeat the same on the other side.

  • Medication: You cannot find any specific medication to treat dizziness when moving your head, especially if it is caused by BPPV, but you can find medicines to treat vomiting and nausea associated with this problem.

  • Surgery: You may require surgery in some cases, especially when your symptoms do not improve through exercises. An ear specialist will perform the surgery.

  • Wait and Watch: Sometimes, you have to stick to a wait-and-watch approach and try no treatment for your condition. It may take several weeks or months, but it may eventually get better without treatment.

Other Causes and Treatments of Dizziness When Moving Head

While BPPV is certainly a common issue leading to dizziness when turning head, there can be some other possible causes as well. Here are some details.


Labyrinthitis is an inner ear disorder. You develop this inner ear disorder when one of two vestibular nerves that send your brain information about balance control becomes inflamed.

Causes and Symptoms of Labyrinthitis:

It could be the result of a respiratory illness, such as bronchitis. Other possible causes are herpes virus, stomach viruses, viral infections of the inner ear, and bacterial middle ear infections. You are at a greater risk of developing Labyrinthitis if you smoke, have a history of allergies, drink alcohol, take prescription medications, and are under extreme stress.

The symptoms include dizziness, nausea, and loss of hearing. Vertigo, another symptom, is a type of dizziness marked by the sensation that you’re moving, even though you aren’t.


You can take medications to relieve symptoms associated with Labyrinthitis. Prescription antihistamines work well, but sometimes, you may feel better after taking OTC antihistamines. Your doctor may also give sedatives, corticosteroids, or medications to reduce nausea and dizziness. You need to take antibiotics in case your symptoms are due to a bacterial infection. Here are some other techniques to manage your condition better.

  • Do not change your head position quickly.

  • Do not try to move when you have a vertigo attack.

  • Take your time to stand after being in a seated position for a while.

  • Stay in low lighting when you have a vertigo attack.

  • Work with an occupational and physical therapists to improve your symptoms.


Meniere's Disease

Meniere’s disease is a disorder that affects your hearing as well as your sense of balance. Some people also have a ringing sound in the ear. The disease usually affects only one ear.

Causes of Meniere's Disease:

There is no clear information available about the exact cause of Meniere's disease, but many scientists are of the view that this inner ear disorder is the result of changes in the fluid in tubes of your inner ear.

Symptoms of Meniere’s Disease:

  • Vertigo (attacks can last anywhere from a few minutes to 24 hours)

  • Loss of hearing in the affected ear

  • Tinnitus (a sensation of ringing) in the affected ear

  • A feeling of fullness in the affected ear

  • Loss of balance

  • Headaches

  • Nausea, vomiting, and sweating caused by severe vertigo


There is no cure for this chronic condition, but you can try a few treatment options to control your symptoms. For instance:

  • Medication: You may have to take motion sickness medicines to ease symptoms of nausea, vertigo, and vomiting. You may also have to take anti-nausea medication to relieve vomiting and nausea. Sometimes, you need to take a diuretic to help reduce the amount of fluid in your inner ear.

  • Rehab and Hearing Aids: You can use vestibular rehabilitation exercises to manage your symptoms. It is important to work with an audiologist to treat hearing loss. You may also have to use a hearing aid to deal with your hearing problems.

  • Surgery: People with severe attacks of Meniere's disease may require surgery. You will have to undergo an endolymphatic sac procedure, which helps reduce the production of fluid in your inner ear. It also promotes fluid drainage in the area. Your doctor may recommend a vestibular nerve section procedure that involves cutting the nerve that connects your ear directly to your brain. This will help reduce vertigo and preserve hearing too.


Rare Causes

There can be some other rare causes of experiencing dizziness when moving head. For instance:

  • You may have vestibular neuronitis, caused by blood clots developing in the blood vessels of your inner ear.

  • You may develop complications after head trauma.

  • You may have brain tumor.


Please Log In or add your name and email to post the comment.