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Dizzy and headache symptoms: Head pressure and dizziness: Causes, treatment, and more

Head pressure and dizziness: Causes, treatment, and more

A feeling of pressure in the head or behind the eyes, along with dizziness, can occur with some types of headache. The symptoms may worsen if a person changes position. Some conditions, such as sinusitis, can cause both a headache and dizziness.

Head pressure and dizziness can often occur due to migraine. Any chronic or very severe and sudden symptoms may warn of a serious underlying condition.

It is important to note that there are four types of dizziness:

  • Vertigo: A person experiences a sensation that they are moving when they are still or feels as though they are spinning.
  • Disequilibrium: A person feels wobbly or off-balance.
  • Presyncope: A person feels as though they are passing out.
  • Lightheadedness: A person feels vague, as if they are losing connection with their environment.

A person might be able to identify which type of dizziness they feel, which could help a doctor diagnose the cause accurately.

This article will list some possible causes of head pressure and dizziness occurring together. It will also cover some treatment options for each one and explain when a person should contact a doctor.

However, these are not the only possible causes of head pressure and dizziness. A person should contact a doctor to receive a full examination and the correct diagnosis.

Seasonal allergies, which doctors sometimes call allergic rhinitis, can cause feelings of pressure in the head and sinuses.

Some people also experience symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, a sore throat, and a general feeling of being unwell. Any of these symptoms can lead to dizziness, especially if a person feels very congested or develops sinusitis.

How to treat allergies

A number of treatments can help ease the symptoms of allergies. The first is avoiding allergens by staying indoors more often during allergy season or using an air filter. Some people also find that wearing masks helps ease allergy symptoms.

Taking allergy medications can also ease symptoms. Immunotherapy, which exposes a person to very small quantities of the allergen to stop their body from overreacting to it, can also be helpful. People who are interested in a permanent solution to allergies could ask a doctor about immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots.

Learn more about allergy medications here.

A headache that results from sinusitis can cause feelings of pressure in the head, especially near the front of the face and under the eyes. This happens because fluid builds up in the sinuses, generally due to an infection.

Some people also get dizzy, feel sick, or have lower energy levels.

How to treat sinusitis

Applying heated pads or warm compresses to the face may help. Some people may also find relief by taking allergy medications or over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.

Antibiotics can treat some sinus infections, but only if they are due to bacteria. They cannot help with viral infections.

Some people may develop a chronic form of sinusitis that may require a consultation with a specialist.

Learn about home remedies to ease sinus pressure here.

Ear infections usually affect the middle ear, which is just past the eardrum. These infections are common among children. Sometimes, an ear infection follows another illness, such as a sinus infection or the flu.

The middle ear makes fluid itself to keep itself clean. This fluid should drain into the throat through an opening. However, if the throat becomes swollen, the opening swells shut. Therefore, the fluid collects, which can be painful. It may then become infected.

Symptoms may come on suddenly, and most people develop a fever. A person may also have pressure in the head, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.

How to treat an ear infection

Lying down with the ear that hurts facing up, with a heated pad on top, may help relieve the pain of an ear infection. This is because gravity helps the fluid from the ear drain into the throat. Also, the heat from the pad helps keep the drainage site open.

Taking OTC pain relievers can also help ease the symptoms.

Antibiotics may help treat middle ear infections, especially in young children and people with weak immune systems. However, draining the ear by lying on the correct side will help stop the condition from recurring and prevent a ruptured eardrum, which could happen due to fluid buildup.

Learn more about how to treat ear infections here.

Migraine is a neurological type of headache that happens when changes in the brain cause head pain and other unusual sensations.

Some people experience migraine as head pressure along with other neurological symptoms, such as:

  • dizziness
  • sensitivity to light
  • vomiting
  • hearing unusual sounds
  • seeing unusual lights

How to treat a migraine headache

Taking pain relievers may help ease a migraine headache, but people experiencing chronic migraine headaches should contact a doctor. They can prescribe medications to prevent migraine headaches and rule out other conditions.

The doctor may also recommend keeping a log of headaches to help with identifying potential triggers.

Learn about migraine triggers and how to avoid them here.

A tension headache happens when muscle tension radiates to the head. A person may also experience shoulder or neck pain.

Tension headaches tend to come on slowly, getting worse over time and causing pain throughout the head and sometimes a feeling of pressure. Very bad tension headaches can also make a person feel dizzy.

How to treat a tension headache

Some people may find relief from tension headaches by applying hot or cold packs to the neck or head or by taking OTC headache medications.

Chronic tension headaches occur when a person experiences a tension headache for 15 or more days per month for at least 3 months. They sometimes happen when a person has underlying muscle issues, sits at a computer all day, or has chronic stress. A doctor may be able to identify strategies for dealing with these issues.

Learn about 19 natural remedies for headaches here.

High blood pressure, especially a sudden shift in blood pressure, may cause pain and pressure in the head, as well as dizziness.

Any type of pain, including that associated with headaches, may also cause high blood pressure. However, in this case, relieving the headache may not lead to lower blood pressure.

How to treat high blood pressure

It is important to talk with a doctor about high blood pressure, as making behavioral changes and taking medications, such as beta-blockers, can help.

A person may find that managing stress or eating less salt can also help lower their blood pressure.

A home blood pressure reading with a systolic (top) number above 180 or a diastolic (bottom) number above 120 warrants a 911 call or a trip to the emergency room.

Learn about 15 ways to naturally lower blood pressure here.

When a person has intracranial hypertension, it means that there is higher pressure from the fluid that cushions the brain. This can happen for many reasons, including:

  • a serious head injury
  • a stroke
  • an infection or growth in the brain, including a brain tumor

A person may experience a chronic throbbing headache or neurological symptoms such as vision issues or difficulty concentrating. If this is the case, a person should contact a doctor, as these symptoms can be life threatening.

Some people develop intracranial hypertension for no clear reason. Doctors call this idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Making certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, may help with IIH.

Learn more about increased intracranial pressure here.

A person should contact a doctor if they:

  • have an ear infection or ear pain that gets worse or does not improve within a few days
  • have a headache that lasts longer than a day or have frequent headaches
  • have severe allergies
  • think that they may have migraine headaches
  • have headaches that affect their mental health or daily functioning

A person should go to the emergency room if they experience any of the following:

  • a sudden, unexplained, very severe headache that makes it impossible to do anything else, along with other symptoms, such as nausea or tingling
  • stroke symptoms, such as numbness on one side of the body or a drooping face
  • loss of consciousness, a feeling of being very well, or a worry that their headache is an emergency

Some other symptoms a person might notice with a headache and dizziness include:

  • nausea
  • fatigue
  • a fever
  • congestion or face pain
  • sneezing
  • panic or anxiety

The following symptoms can also occur, but they are more likely to signal an emergency:

  • numbness on one side of the body
  • confusion
  • blurry vision
  • high blood pressure

When a headache or dizziness lasts for a long time, it is more likely that a person has a chronic or serious condition, such as migraine, head pressure from a tumor or infection, or a brain injury.

A person should avoid self-diagnosing and contact a doctor if they are concerned.

Learn more about persistent headaches here.

Some people develop may headaches or dizziness after eating. This does not necessarily mean that food caused the symptoms, so it is important to look at other factors.

Sometimes, however, food poisoning, food sensitivities, and even overeating may cause dizziness and headaches, as well as stomach pain.

A person may also develop a headache after eating sugar.

Learn more about sugar headaches here.

Headaches can be very painful, but they are usually harmless. In most cases, a person can manage the symptoms at home.

When the headache is intense or lasts a long time, however, it is important to contact a doctor. Receiving early treatment can improve the outlook even for very serious illnesses.

A person should avoid self-diagnosing and instead seek an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for symptoms of any severity that are concerning them.

Headaches and Dizziness: What’s the Connection?

You have a headache, and on top of that, you feel like your head is spinning.

Having a headache or feeling dizzy can be unsettling on its own, and together they’re even more anxiety producing. But identifying the source of your dizziness can help you find relief for your symptoms.

Describing the sensation to your doctor or even friends or family members can be challenging because the term “dizzy” can mean different things to different people.

In medical terms, what exactly does it mean when say we “feel dizzy”?

The Difference Between Dizziness, Lightheadedness, and Vertigo

“Dizziness could either be a sensation of feeling lightheaded and unsteady, or a sensation of abnormal movement of your body,” says Roderick Spears, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

“Vertigo, on the other hand, is a spinning sensation of your body, or the perception of the environment around you moving when you’re not actually moving,” Dr. Spears says.

“Lightheadedness would be associated with low blood pressure, lack of blood flow, or lack of blood flow reaching the brain,” says Spears.

When you’re lightheaded, you may feel as though you’re going to pass out; the body wants you to get into a lying-down position so you can get adequate blood flow to the brain, he explains.

RELATED: 10 Surprising Facts About Dizziness and Vertigo

Pay Attention to When Your Dizziness and Headaches Occur

If you’ve been experiencing bouts of dizziness, make note of when it occurs or gets worse. For example, does it occur when you get up suddenly from sitting or lying positions?

If anything improves your dizziness, keep track of that, too.

Be sure to tell your doctor if there are any other symptoms that accompany the dizziness, such as a headache or changes to your hearing or vision, says Spears.

You’ll also want to inform your doctor of any other health conditions you may have, such as diabetes or pregnancy, which can trigger these symptoms. Low blood pressure is another possible cause of dizziness or lightheadedness.

Potential Causes of Headache and Dizziness

There can be a range of reasons that headache and dizziness can coexist; some are easily remedied, while in rare cases the symptoms could indicate a medical emergency.


Dizziness or vertigo with a headache may be a sign of vestibular migraine and can occur in any of the phases of a migraine, according to the American Migraine Foundation. The word “vestibular” is used to describe the inner ear and a person’s sense of balance.

Dizziness is a common symptom of migraine, says Loretta Mueller, DO, a headache specialist at Cooper University Health Care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “When people complain of dizziness, it’s migraine related about 50 percent of the time,” she says.

If the headache and dizziness have additional symptoms such as nausea, light sensitivity, or sound sensitivity, then it may be migraine, says Spears.

“One thing that seems specific for vestibular migraine is brain fog. People will often describe a sensation of cognitive clouding, or brain fog, around the time they have these episodes, and it can persist outside of it as well,” he says.

Interestingly, vestibular migraine doesn’t always come with a headache. If it does, often the headache is not very severe, says Spears. “Most of the patients I see with vestibular migraine are more concerned with the dizziness or vertigo than they are with head pain,” he says.

Trauma to the Head

It’s common for people who experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) to have headache, says Spears. “If you have a genetic predisposition for migraine, there’s a greater chance of that post-traumatic headache presenting as a migraine headache,” he says.

These post-trauma headaches can often come with dizziness. It’s estimated that 30 to 65 percent of people with TBI report balance issues that include dizziness and disequilibrium during their recovery, according to the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine.

In some cases, a head trauma, ear trauma, or sudden change in barometric pressure can cause a perilymph fistula, which is when one of the fluids in the inner ear leaks into the air-filled middle ear. This can cause headaches as well as bouts of unsteadiness, dizziness, nausea, hearing loss, and tinnitus, according to the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA). Tinnitus is most often described as a ringing in the ears, but it can also be experienced as roaring, clicking, hissing, or buzzing.

Whiplash or trauma to the neck area can cause cervical vertigo, which can happen when receptors in the neck that send signals to the inner ear for balance stop working normally. Sudden neck movements can trigger dizziness; other symptoms of cervical vertigo include headache, neck pain, nausea, vomiting, and hearing issues, according to the American Hearing Research Foundation.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

In this disorder, dizziness may occur, but it’s more likely to feel like vertigo, says Dr. Mueller. It can happen when the little crystals in the semicircles of the ear, called otoconia, become dislodged.

“This can bring on the symptoms of vertigo. When people have BPPV, it’s positional vertigo — the spinning feeling happens when you move your head or turn over in bed, she explains.

Headache is common in people with BPPV. Research published in the Annals of Otology, Rhinology, and Laryngology found that about one-third of people with BPPV reported headache.

RELATED: Causes and Risk Factors for Vertigo

Low Blood Sugar

Another possible cause of both headaches and dizziness is low blood sugar, which is also called hypoglycemia. This is most likely to occur several hours after your last meal or if you do a lot of exercise without eating enough.

Eating small, frequent meals should help stave off these symptoms.

If you have diabetes, low blood sugar can also be brought on by taking too much insulin or other diabetes medication, drinking alcohol, delaying or skipping meals, and increasing your exercise or physical activity without adjusting your medication or food intake.

Low blood sugar is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as hunger, sweating, and trembling, according to the University of Michigan Health Library.

RELATED: 10 Warning Signs of Low Blood Sugar

Migrainous Stroke

If dizziness occurs very suddenly with a headache, it could be a migrainous stroke, which is when an ischemic stroke happens at the same time as a migraine attack.

An ischemic stroke is when the vessels supplying blood to the brain are obstructed. Although about seven out of eight strokes are ischemic, migrainous strokes are very rare and account for less than 1 percent of all strokes, according to Cedars Sinai Health System in Los Angeles.

In a migrainous stroke, the migraine symptoms must include an aura, which can be visual changes or tingling in the face or hands.

Stroke symptoms come on very suddenly and may include numbness or weakness of the face (especially on one side of the body), confusion, trouble speaking or seeing, trouble walking, dizziness and loss of balance or coordination, and severe headache with no known cause.

If you have any signs of a stroke, you should call 911 — or get someone else to call — and seek urgent medical attention.

RELATED: What You Need to Know About Migraine and Stroke

Diagnosing Headache and Dizziness

Because there are so many ways to describe the sensation of dizziness — and so many potential causes — you and your doctor may need to spend some time discussing your health to get to the root of the problem.

Diagnosing and treating the headache is typically easier than treating the dizziness, says Spears.

“Vestibular migraine is a diagnosis of exclusion,” he says. That means that other conditions that may be causing the dizziness must be ruled out first.

If a person is experiencing dizziness, they should speak with their doctor; a medical workup may be necessary, says Spears. “Depending on their age, that may involve a brain MRI to rule out a stroke, or they may be referred to an ear, nose, and throat doctor to make sure it’s not a vestibular disorder,” he says.

Treating Headache and Dizziness

Once those things have been ruled out, it’s reasonable for you to see a neurologist or headache specialist for headache treatment and to investigate the possibility that you may have vestibular migraine, says Spears.

Treatments for headache or migraine may include:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Prescription migraine treatment
  • Medication to prevent migraine or headache
  • Antidepressants
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Biofeedback
  • Maintaining a healthy, regular diet

For dizziness accompanied by nausea, an over-the-counter antihistamine medication such as dimenhydrinate or Bonine (meclizine) might help, although they may cause drowsiness, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If your dizziness or vertigo is related to an underlying health condition, such as low blood pressure, you may need other treatments. Dizziness triggered by movement may be best addressed through vestibular rehabilitation therapy, an exercise-based program designed to reduce dizziness and imbalance.

RELATED: Is It Time to See a Neurologist for Your Headaches?

Additional reporting by Madeline R. Vann, MPH.

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Treatment of dizziness and headache: causes and symptoms

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  • European level equipment

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  • Reception of ENT doctors around the clock!

  • Interdisciplinary approach to patient care

The branch of the ENT clinic plus 1 in Moscow City is engaged in professional treatment of headaches and dizziness in adults.

Appointment is conducted by Overchenko Kira Vladimirovna – neurologist, otoneurologist, specialist in headache and dizziness, Candidate of Medical Sciences, researcher at the department of vestibulology and otoneurology of NMICO FMBA of Russia. Kira Vladimirovna successfully treats headaches and dizziness, including complex and difficult-to-diagnose conditions, knows international diagnostic approaches, therapeutic maneuvers, which in some cases allow you to get rid of dizziness attacks at the first appointment.

A personal approach to understanding the causes and treatment of headaches and dizziness

A modern good headache doctor will never say that “everyone has a headache and dizziness” by prescribing random painkillers or prescribing “vascular” drips. Every human body, every medical case is individual. For a correct diagnosis, it is important to understand exactly how a person feels pain and dizziness (and the word “dizziness” describes a fairly wide range of sensations). For example, in the same patient, several types of dizziness can be combined due to one disease. Or because of several present at the same time. The same is true for different types of headaches.

Misdiagnosis, incorrect medication tactics, ignoring the problem, self-treatment of headaches and dizziness – all this harms the quality of life almost equally. Up to the point that a headache may develop from excessive use of painkillers or constant dizziness from fear of a recurrence of an attack of dizziness. A person begins to experience panic attacks in anticipation of a new debilitating attack.

Therefore, for a correct diagnosis, it is necessary to study the history of the disease in detail, ask about the patient’s feelings, conduct an examination and specialized tests. To do this, you need a sufficient time of admission – 30-45 minutes, and a competent, interested, highly specialized doctor. All this we offer you in our clinic at the reception of Overchenko Kira Vladimirovna.

Contact us if:

  1. You experience recurrent or chronic headaches (occipital, temporal, facial), dizziness, tinnitus.
  2. You have already been diagnosed – such as “VSD”, “clamped vessels”, “narrowing of the vertebral artery”, “dizziness in the elderly”, “osteochondrosis”; treatment for headache or dizziness has been tried, but the problems have not disappeared.

Our Headache Specialist:

  • tells you what lies behind false diagnoses;
  • develop a complete dizziness and headache treatment plan;
  • will explain how the vestibular apparatus works, how to do vestibular exercises correctly, why the cause of pain is not in the vessels and osteochondrosis;
  • talk about the symptoms and treatment of different types of headaches;
  • in some types of dizziness can remove it at the very first appointment – thanks to therapeutic maneuvers to return the fallen otoliths (parts of the “motion sensor”) in the inner ear.

Do not tolerate or put up with severe headaches and severe dizziness. If the previous therapy did not help you, it is far from the only one!

Make an appointment at our headache clinic in Moscow and enjoy life!


If you have been suffering from headaches for many months or years, it is essential that you keep a headache diary, developed by the world’s headache management community, before you see a doctor. You can download it here.

Headache and dizziness. Causes of headache and dizziness.

Headache and dizziness. Causes of headache and dizziness.

Gimranov Rinat Fazylzhanovich
Neurologist, neurophysiologist, experience – 33 years;
Professor of Neurology, MD;
Clinic for Rehabilitation Neurology. About the author

Publication date: May 1, 2021

Updated: October 25, 2022

The rhythm of life often leads to the fact that constant fatigue, stress, regular background noise, malnutrition become part of our daily existence. In this case, people regularly have a headache, dizziness and weakness occur.

However, even if the condition does not improve after these changes, seek medical attention. After all, headaches with dizziness can be symptoms of a serious illness, a brain cyst [1].

Article content:

  • 1 Causes
    • 1.1 Safe
    • 1.2 Serious diseases
  • 2 Diagnosis
  • 3 Treatment 9 0004
  • 4 Prevention
  • 5 References


If men or women often, or even constantly, have headaches and dizziness, then before deciding what to do, you need to understand what it is, to establish the cause of the condition.

The culprit of bad health may be our wrong way of life, some external factors that are easy to get rid of.

It is recommended to rule out a serious illness first.

Let’s take a closer look at what can negatively affect a person’s well-being. For convenience, we will divide the causes into those that can be eliminated at home and those that require medical attention.


There are factors that affect a person and cause cephalgia, which can hardly be called dangerous. However, with constant exposure to the body, they can lead to the gradual development of a serious illness. It is easy to eliminate dizziness and headaches on your own if their cause is:

  1. Eye fatigue due to too much time spent at the computer. It is also a phone, tablet or other device that has a backlit screen. The aggressive effect of directional light on the eyes leads to excessive fatigue and the appearance of headaches.
  1. Sudden dizziness when standing up or other sudden movements, often followed by a headache, typical of adolescents and pensioners. This indicates the underdevelopment of the vascular system or too low blood pressure. There is a similar picture in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, BPPV [2].
  1. Long breaks between meals, lack of calories, lead to a deficiency of energy and elements needed by the body, with subsequent problems against such a background.
  1. Increased anxiety, stress due to some situation.

You can see for yourself whether the described attacks of pain and vertigo occur after the situations described in the list. If yes, you can read on the clinic’s website how to deal with such problems.

Serious illnesses

Headaches, dizziness and nausea may be symptoms of a developing serious illness.

If the attacks become systematic, they should be given the necessary attention.

These signs may indicate various problems in the body:

  1. Atherosclerosis of the vessels. The deposition of plaques on the walls of blood vessels leads to the fact that the supply of blood to the brain is sharply reduced. The lack of oxygen and nutrients not only causes pain and dizziness, but also contributes to the gradual death of brain cells, a decrease in intelligence, and attentiveness.
  1. Brain injury. Even an insignificant blow can lead to concussion, the consequences of which appear even after a long time [3].
  1. Tumors of the brain, meninges. Regardless of benign or malignant, the occurrence of a neoplasm on the cerebral cortex leads to compression of surrounding tissues and constant pain.
  1. Hypertension or regular increase in blood pressure. Manifested by dizziness and pain, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), flies in the eyes and drowsiness.
  1. Viral diseases leading to inflammation of the membranes of the brain.
  1. Migraine is a congenital or acquired disease that manifests itself as localized pain in a specific part of the head. Attacks can last only a few minutes, or they can stretch for hours.

There are viruses that affect not so much the membranes as brain tissues. For example, Sars-Cov-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. The virus disrupts the processes of energy synthesis in neurons, so weakness and dizziness are symptoms of the disease. And often they continue to disturb a person after recovery from the actual infection [4].

If discomfort increases or appears regularly, you should consult a doctor to avoid the development of a dangerous disease. Or get rid of its consequences as soon as possible.


If you are not sure what is causing your symptoms, contact your physician first. The doctor after the initial examination will make an assumption about the causes of frequent severe headaches and dizziness, weakness in women or men in a particular case.

To clarify the diagnosis, instrumental examinations will be ordered. Their results will help to understand the patient’s condition and refer him to a doctor of the appropriate profile:

  • general blood test to detect possible infection, signs of acute inflammation in the body;
  • transcranial Doppler examination of the vessels of the brain and cervical spine;
  • MRI to assess the state of the brain;
  • x-ray of the cervical spine, revealing possible osteochondrosis;

After receiving the results of neuroimaging, the doctor will determine the specific cause of poor health [5]. And he will select the appropriate complex of therapy.


After the causes of weakness, dizziness and headache are identified, treatment is prescribed.

If attacks of bad health are the result of external factors or an incorrect daily routine, then a neurologist will give advice on how to get rid of such a negative influence.

When a serious disease is detected, therapy is prescribed, the basic methods of which are:

  • Drug treatment. It includes not only taking painkillers, but also means that eliminate the root cause of the condition. That is, normalizing blood pressure, reducing the amount of cholesterol in the blood (from atherosclerosis).
  • Physiotherapeutic methods. Various methods of exposure are selected, depending on the problem that has arisen in a particular patient. This also includes specially selected yoga exercises, physiotherapy exercises with dosed physical activity.
  • Surgical intervention is practiced in certain types of traumatic brain injuries and in the presence of neoplasms.

At the end of the course of treatment, the doctor gives recommendations on how to further build the daily routine so that the symptoms do not return.


Prevention is the best way to stay healthy.

With a few changes in your daily routine, most of the causes of persistent headaches and dizziness will disappear.

Follow just a few rules:

  • Take regular breaks and warm up during any sedentary work, including at the computer.
  • Ventilate rooms where you plan to stay for several hours at a time.
  • Get enough sleep, regular sleep according to an established schedule is the key to excellent health in the morning.
  • Give up bad habits: drug and alcohol use, smoking.
  • Limit your intake of coffee, strong tea, and energy drinks.
  • Adjust your daily diet to meet the required amount of protein and carbohydrates. Avoid excessive consumption of monosodium glutamate

Also, regular light training several times a week will improve daily well-being [6].