Many patients talk about ‘dizziness’, but actually mean imbalance (disequilibrium / balance disorder) or other conditions. Some types of epilepsy can be misinterpreted as dizziness. Due to this dizziness is discussed more detailed below.

Acute, intermittent (occuring at intervals, episode-like) and chronic dizziness are differentiated.
Dizziness is caused by diseases of balance system (also called vestibular system), brain, spine as well as vascualar and circulatory system.

Following types of dizziness are distinguished:

  • rotatory vertigo – comparable to the impacts of a fierce ride on the merry-go-round
  • vestibular vertigo – e.g., in case of seasickness or after exessive alcohol consumption
  • up and down dizziness – the sensation that you are dragged upwards by an elevator (mostly centrally)
  • imbalance (ataxia) – during drunkenness, but also in case of many neurological diseases

Acute dizziness emerges, for example, as rotatory vertigo that can be provoked in case of a harmless and spontaneously curing disease, the benign paroxysmal postural vertigo (paroxysmal = fit-like); often in case of verstibular neuronitis, a disease of the balance system caused by a virus, or a blockade of the first cervical vertebra.

Intermittend dizziness, also in the form of rotatory vertigo, is found in case of Morbus Menière, and rarely concerning some types of migraine. It can affect people with high blood pressure (‘hypertensive crisis’ – suddenly occuring blood pressure regulation failure) and generally those with low blood pressure and circulation problems.

Chronic forms of diziness result from metabolic disorder with damage of the nervous system (e.g., diabetes mellitus).