Headache and Dizziness: 12 Possible Causes

Headache and Dizziness are alarming symptoms to co-exist. However, this can occur as a result of mere dehydration to a condition as serious as a Stroke. The onset of symptoms and the severity can help formulate a better diagnosis.
There can be a number of causes for Headache and Dizziness to co-exist. Some of these are as follows:

  1. Dehydration Headache
  2. Migraine
  3. Fasting Headache
  4. Headache due to Low Pressure
  5. Spinal Headache
  6. Post Traumatic Headache
  7. Hypotension Headache
  8. Headache due to Lack of Sleep
  9. Sinus Headache
  10. Labyrinthitis
  11. Side effects of a medicine
  12. Stroke

1- Dehydration Headache

An imbalance between water uptake and loss of water by body leads to excessive loss of water and can develop into Dehydration Headache and Dizziness along with other symptoms. Often times the body loses electrolytes as well as water from the body such as in diarrhea and vomiting.


  • Dizziness and unconsciousness
  • Decreases frequency and volume of Urination
  • Dark-colored, concentrated Urine.
  • Loss of skin elasticity
  • Sunken eyes
  • High Heart rate, Low blood pressure


  • Oral Rehydration Serum is the best treatment for a Dehydration Headache.
  • An IV solution might be given in case of excessive fluid loss.

2- Migraine

In Migraine different patients come up the different symptoms. Usually, patients report a prodrome of malaise, irritability, Unilateral Headache and Dizziness and behavioral change for some hours or days.


  • Dizziness, blurred vision, and ringing sensation in ears in migraines with aura.
  • There is a dull ache at the beginning which grows into throbbing pain that gets worse due to exertion.
  • Pressure in the head behind eyes
  • Sensitivity to light, noise, and smell
  • Stomach ache and diarrhea in a few cases
  • Migraine and vomiting are closely related which usually begins with nausea.


  • For pain relief: Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Caffeine, and Ibuprofen.
  • For nausea: An antiemetic, METACLOPRAMIDE, can help.

3- Fasting Headache

Most people who choose Intermittent Fasting to lose weight tend to get frequent Fasting Headache. The Headache and dizziness are closely related here because of hypoglycemia that is faced by the body after long periods of not taking any food.


  • Throbbing Headache and Dizziness
  • Tremors
  • Hunger pangs
  • Low mood and low energy
  • Loss of coordination
  • The confused state of mind
  • Feeling Agitated and restless


  • Over the counter Analgesics: Acetaminophen, Aspirin, Ibuprofen can help.
  • If you are fasting for religious purposes, Try taking small meals and increasing the duration between your meals to prepare your body for fasting.

4- Headache due to Low Pressure

Any change in volume or pressure of Cerebrospinal Fluid can cause a headache. SIH Headache is spontaneous in onset and is caused due to low pressure exerted by the cerebrospinal fluid on the brain and spinal cord. The intensity of pain ranges from dull to severe and is accompanied by Dizziness, Nausea, and Vomiting.


  • Dizziness and Loss of consciousness
  • Photophobia and phonophobia
  • Diplopia
  • Tinnitus
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Neck pain
  • Disrupted cognitive function


  • IV infusion: If a patient is unable to consume a lot of fluid by the oral route, intravenous fluids are given to raise the pressure.
  • Analgesics: Acute pain can be treated by giving analgesics.
  • Epidural blood patch.

5- Spinal Headache

Spinal Headache occurs due to a decrease in pressure exerted by the spinal fluid on the brain and spinal cord when a spinal tap, epidural block, or lumbar puncture is performed. Spinal Tap Headache worsens upon standing up or sitting down, where the patient may feel relief on lying down.


  • A dull, throbbing Headache and Dizziness
  • Nausea.
  • Tinnitus.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Blurred or double vision (diplopia).
  • Neck stiffness.


  • Hydration: In order to raise the pressure exerted by cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)
  • Caffeine
  • Complete bed rest for 24 to 48 hours.

6- Post-Traumatic Headache

People who experience a traumatic injury to their head or neck, often come up with Post-traumatic Headache. The pain usually develops due to incomplete healing of injury and stops as soon as the injury heals that is within three months at least. During this time period Headache coexists along with other symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, vomiting, etc.


  • Throbbing Headache and Dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Concentration Problems
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Decreased Reaction time
  • Anterograde Amnesia


  • During the first few weeks:
  • Anti-Inflammatories: Aspirin, Acetaminophen.
  • If the headache persists, your doctor would put you on preventive treatment, i.e.
  • Anti-Hypertensives, Anti-psychotics, and B-blockers.

7- Hypotension Headache

Hypotension Headache is not a common phenomenon but several patients with chronic headache conditions have reported Hypotension as a trigger. Sluggish heart rate can also result in low blood pressure, Headache and Dizziness, and sometimes even fainting.


  • Headache at the back of Head
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Blurred vision
  • Palpitations
  • A weak pulse


  • Oral rehydration serum is given to combat dehydration-induced hypovolemia.
  • Hypovolemia due to blood loss can be treated by giving IV fluids and blood transfusions.
  • Any sort of medicine that might be causing Hypotension can be adjusted.

8- Headache due to Lack of Sleep

Several studies indicate that lack of Rapid Eye Movement sleep causes more painful headaches. The REM is the part of sleep that involves faster breathing, dreaming, and is responsible for mood regulation and memory storing. When a body is deprived of sleep, it produced certain inflammatory markers that slowly revert when you start getting enough sleep. These stress and inflammatory markers cause Headache and Dizziness.


  • Headache in the back, forehead, and top of the head.
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Fatigue
  • Photophobia and phonophobia
  • Low mood and Irritability


  • Analgesics: acetaminophen, ibuprofen
  • Excedrin: For migraine
  • Triptans: For Tension Headache.
  • Antiemetics: chlorpromazine, metoclopramide
  • Indomethacin: For Cluster Headache.

9- Sinus Headache

Sinus headache causes pressure and pain in the forehead and face when the inflammation in the sinuses results in the buildup of inflammatory products and begin to exert pressure known as sinus headache pressure. The headache aggravates on bending and lying down along with mild dizziness.


  • Constant feeling of pain and pressure in cheeks, forehead, around the eyes and nasal bridge
  • Fever and dizziness
  • Runny nose
  • Swelling in face
  • Decreased sense of smell


  • For pain: Over the counter painkillers like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen.
  • Antipyretics: For fever.
  • Antihistamines: For allergic conditions.
  • Decongestants: Oral decongestants

10- Labyrinthitis

Inflammation of delicate structures, labyrinths, in the inner ear is known as labyrinthitis. this has a viral cause to it and is characterized by Headache and Dizziness along with mild to moderate hearing loss.


  • Vertigo
  • hearing loss
  • blurred or double vision
  • flu-like symptoms
  • Tinnitus
  • Earache
  • Because it has a viral cause, it is mostly self-limiting.

11- Side effects of a medicine

Headaches and dizziness are common side effects of several medicines, especially if you’ve been using them for a long duration of time. Some of the medicines that cause Headache and Dizziness are:

  • Antibiotics
  • Contraceptive pills
  • Antidepressants
  • Sedatives
  • Tranquilizers
  • Erectile dysfunction medicines
  • Anti-hypertensives

12- Stroke

As the blood pressure drops down due to blood loss or any other cause, the blood supply towards the brain decreases and creates a state of hypoxia. Very less blood flow toward the brain can lead to ischemic shock which releases inflammatory mediators that cause Headache. The Headache and Dizziness, sometimes co-exist with other symptoms. This is a medical emergency and should be gravely addressed.


What are the common conditions in which Headache and Dizziness co-exist?

Dehydration, Fasting, Hypoglycemia, Lack of sleep, and Low Blood pressure are common causes.

What are the serious complications that can be connected to Headache and Dizziness?

Stroke, Low-Pressure Headache, Spinal Headache, Labyrinthitis, and Post-Traumatic Headache.

What other symptoms should I look out for?

Vomiting, Fever, and Unconsciousness should be seriously addressed.

How long is too long for Headache and Dizziness to co-exist?

Any time longer than an hour should be taken seriously and consulted with a physician.