What is the Difference Between Dizziness and Vertigo?

Professor Adolfo Bronstein
Professor Adolfo Bronstein
Professor of Neuro-Otology

Do you have a question?
Categories

Dizziness is very often the general term patients use when describing their symptoms. It can be very difficult for someone experiencing dizziness to put into words exactly what they’re feeling/experiencing but the starting point is usually ‘I feel dizzy’ or a ‘I have dizziness’. When we dig a little deeper, the patient may explain that the dizziness they’re experiencing is more of a spinning type of dizziness or may indicate with their hand that they’re spinning by making circular motions. It’s this type of spinning feeling that, if it affects balance, we would clinically class as vertigo.

There is also a very common misconception that vertigo is associated with a fear of heights but this isn’t true.

An attack of vertigo and this spinning type of dizziness can last from a few seconds to a few hours. In some severe cases, the attack can last days, weeks and even months.

When to get help

If you have persistent vertigo you should see a GP who may refer you to an expert.

If you have symptoms of vertigo and a bad headache, sickness or a high temperature, you should see your GP immediately.

More about
Share Story

Letter to the Queen Square Private Healthcare


I just wanted to say thank you for all the help you gave me during my day in Queen Square recently.  You not only managed to put me at ease, but you managed to get me a last minute appointment with Dr Kapoor, an MRI that evening, and then the results the following day.  I was only in London for a short time so thank you for all that you did for me.

Related specialists