Urgent Care - Gardendale
210 Fieldstown Road, Suite 124
Gardendale, AL 35071

The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that use input from vision and eye motion to inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement at all times to keep you in balance. A sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain from the inner ear is blocked or misfires. In addition to the sensation of dizziness, symptoms may include headache, nausea, sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, ear pain, motion sickness,  and clumsiness.

Dizziness can also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, or a medication side effect or metabolic disorder. Therefore you should always seek medical attention if you experience ongoing or repetitive dizziness.

(Medical providers distinguish vertigo (a sense of motion in the absence of motion) from lightheadedness, or, feeling faint. The causes and treatment of each can be very different.)

Common causes of dizziness


Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV):

BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear canals loosen and disturb the normal flow of fluid through the canals. It is characterized by sudden, short bursts of dizziness that happen most often as a result of head movement. There is no known cause for BPPV. It usually resolves itself in a matter of days.

Inflammation of the Inner Ear

Dizziness may be one symptom of an inner ear infection.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s Disease is characterized by long periods of dizziness, lasting from 30 to 60 minutes or more. It is accompanied by symptoms such as ringing in the ears, hearing loss and a feeling of fullness in the ear. There is no known cause or cure for Meniere’s Disease, although medication and behavior changes can help reduce the severity of the symptoms.


Some migraines (vestibular migraines) can cause a feeling of imbalance and vertigo. This may be accompanied by ringing in the ears or hearing loss. Migraine-related vertigo may occur in conjunction with, before, or, after the migraine headache.


Most common causes of vertigo can be relieved by moving the head and changing posture slowly and deliberately, and, forcing your eyes to focus on distant objects such as treetops or the horizon.