For affected patients, dizziness, even if it only occurs episodically, can be a significant and potentially dangerous burden. Many cases of dizziness are due to neurological disorders, but certain underlying conditions, medications, and alcohol can also cause dizziness. Psychological factors often play a role in chronic dizziness.
Some of the physical dysfunctions that can cause peripheral vestibular forms of dizziness include diseases of the balance organ in the inner ear (such as Meniere’s disease) or inflammation of the vestibular nerve (vestibular neuritis).
In so called central forms of dizziness, the nuclei of the balance nerves in the brainstem, the balance center itself, or the cerebellum become damaged. The cause is primarily due to cerebrovascular disorders (such as atherosclerosis, TIA, or stroke), inflammation (such as multiple sclerosis), or tumors.
Neurological disorders causing different forms of dizziness may also arise due to accidents or injuries such as skull-brain traumas or poisonings. Migraines can also be accompanied by dizziness and are then referred to as vestibular migraines.