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When would one experience severe headache, extreme dizziness that persists till one gets nauseous?

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Posted on Mon, 13 Jan 2020
Question: Hi, I just woke up about an hour ago with a big headache (kinda normal for me in the AM) but I was extremely dizzy like the room was spinning and I had trouble sitting up. When I laid back down the big dizziness happened for a few seconds again. I was able to steady myself and get up and the acute dizziness subsided. For about 10 minutes when I'd move my head quickly left or right the big dizzy would happen for 5 to 10 seconds. I do not feel very dizzy now but the headache persists and I feel a bit nauseated. I'm 70, male and in good health. I also returned to sea level yesterday from 10 days at 8000 ft. I've never been dizzy like this. What should I do?
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Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James (33 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Epley maneuver, meds like meclizine, benadryl or dramamine can help

Detailed Answer:

Hi,

The sensation that you are describing would be called vertigo. This is the feeling of either the room or person spinning.

It is most commonly due to conditions of the inner ear though there are other causes as well.

The inner ear conditions that cause vertigo are -(1) benign paroxysmal positional vertigo( BPPV)- in this condition, the vertigo lasts a few seconds and tends to occur or worsen with certain head positions

(2)Meniere's disease- this tends to be associated with hearing loss and abnormal sounds in the ear such as ringing or buzzing etc. These abnormal sounds are called tinnitus

(3)vestibular neuronitis- this is the most common of the three. In this condition, the vertigo tends to last for hours at a time. There may be a history of a recent infection

All three of these can be associated with nausea.

With the history you have given of the vertigo lasting a few seconds worse with certain head positions, it is likely BPPV.
This can be confirmed by a visit to your doctor, he or she would carry you through certain maneuver called dix hallpike, which is used to identify BPPV.

There is a maneuver called to Epley maneuver that is supposed to help persons with BPPV. Images of the steps of this maneuver are available online.

Medications such as meclizine, dramamine or benadryl (normally used for allergies), can help with the vertigo and nausea.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16811 Questions

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When would one experience severe headache, extreme dizziness that persists till one gets nauseous?

Brief Answer: Epley maneuver, meds like meclizine, benadryl or dramamine can help Detailed Answer: Hi, The sensation that you are describing would be called vertigo. This is the feeling of either the room or person spinning. It is most commonly due to conditions of the inner ear though there are other causes as well. The inner ear conditions that cause vertigo are -(1) benign paroxysmal positional vertigo( BPPV)- in this condition, the vertigo lasts a few seconds and tends to occur or worsen with certain head positions (2)Meniere's disease- this tends to be associated with hearing loss and abnormal sounds in the ear such as ringing or buzzing etc. These abnormal sounds are called tinnitus (3)vestibular neuronitis- this is the most common of the three. In this condition, the vertigo tends to last for hours at a time. There may be a history of a recent infection All three of these can be associated with nausea. With the history you have given of the vertigo lasting a few seconds worse with certain head positions, it is likely BPPV. This can be confirmed by a visit to your doctor, he or she would carry you through certain maneuver called dix hallpike, which is used to identify BPPV. There is a maneuver called to Epley maneuver that is supposed to help persons with BPPV. Images of the steps of this maneuver are available online. Medications such as meclizine, dramamine or benadryl (normally used for allergies), can help with the vertigo and nausea. I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions