You get up and the room starts spinning. Is vertigo or dizziness to blame? The answer might surprise you: it’s vertigo.
Vertigo involves a spinning feeling, kind of like when you get off a merry-go-round. If you feel that everything around you is spinning or that you yourself are turning in circles, you have vertigo. It may be caused by an inner ear disorder (vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, for instance) or a neurological issue. If there are other symptoms, such as a severe headache, speech impairment or double vision, you should see a doctor immediately. It could be a stroke.
Dizzy spells, on the other hand, are characterized by a feeling of instability and trouble with keeping one’s balance, as if the ground were moving. Dizziness can be caused by many factors, including fatigue, stress, the flu, hypoglycemia and pregnancy. If you have regular dizzy spells, it’s best to see a doctor.