Head Injury and Dizziness

Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center
TBI Symptom Management: Dizziness After Brain Injury

What is dizziness?

Dizziness may make you feel unsteady and like things are moving when they are not. Symptoms of dizziness may include:

  • feeling like there is rotation, spinning or movement
  • feeling unsteady, like you are losing your balance
  • feeling hazy or like you are about to faint/pass out

Why am I dizzy?

Dizziness is one of the symptoms that you may experience after a concussion. During the week or two following a concussion, the vast majority of patients will recover from their dizziness and other associated symptoms. There are several possible causes of your dizziness including:

  • migraines
  • a problem in your inner ear
  • an injury to the muscles and nerves in your upper neck
  • minor changes in the parts of your brain that control balance
  • minor changes in the parts of your brain that control eye movement and vision
  • a medication side effect
  • low blood pressure
  • anxiety

What can I do?

  • maintain your daily routine
  • be physically active but stop if you get dizzy
  • minimize alcohol and caffeine
  • drink plenty of water
  • get plenty of sleep
  • talk to your provider about medications and supplements you are taking
  • discuss options for treatment with your provider
  • keep a dizziness journal following the example below and share it with your provider
What makes you dizzy (i.e., position, movement, activity)?How long are you dizzy (i.e., seconds, hours)?What makes you feel better?Is there a certain time of day your dizziness is worse?

When Should I Seek More Help?

If you experience any of the following:

  • worsening dizziness
  • passing out and blackouts
  • double vision or loss of vision
  • slurred speech or difficulty speaking
  • weakness on one side of the body
  • suddenly losing hearing,
  • worsening headache or hearing that comes and goes
  • drainage or bleeding from your ear
  • dizziness caused by changes
  • dizziness and chest pains in pressure or sound

Exercises You Can Do at Home

To help you feel better, your provider/therapist can teach you exercises to do at home. It is normal for your dizziness to get worse temporarily when starting exercises.

Before doing any type of exercise, make sure you are in a safe place in case you lose your balance.

  • start by sitting down on a sofa or a bed
  • once you are comfortable, you can try the exercises while standing next to a countertop or in a corner

Focus Exercises

Look at a letter or a word on the wall 3 feet away. Keep the target in focus as you slowly turn your head left and repeat by turning your head to the right at a comfortable speed. As your dizziness improves, you can move your head faster as long as you can keep the target clearly in focus.

Standing Balance

Keep your balance with your feet together for 30 seconds. If this is too hard, start with your feet slightly apart. If you can do this, increase the challenge by continuing in the following order:

  • standing with one foot in front of the other with eyes open
  • standing on one foot with eyes open
  • standing on both feet, closing your eyes
  • turning your head right and left, or looking up and down with your eyes open

If you have thoughts or feelings of hurting yourself or others, seek emergency care. Call the Military/Veterans Crisis Line: 800-273-TALK (8255), send a text to 838255 or chat online at veteranscrisisline.net. Another helpful resource is Military OneSource at: 800-342-9647 or MilitaryOneSource.mil.

Posted on BrainLine January 27, 2016. Reviewed July 26, 2018.

DVBIC is the TBI operational component of The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. DVBIC is proud to partner with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard on this product.

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Comments (54)

Please remember, we are not able to give medical or legal advice. If you have medical concerns, please consult your doctor. All posted comments are the views and opinions of the poster only.

I got servile kicked to the head and face over 12 days ago i let the. Rising and swelling go down. Ow I’m suffering with dizziness memory issues also tiredness and shooting pains going from my eyes to the back of my head any guidance please

I fall on Friday and hit my head on sidewalk after s slippery ice and I started off dizzy lay down for 30 mins then I was fine until sat morning I was vomiting every time I eat then a bad headache started and then sun was the same thing but a bigger headache then Monday morning I could not hold down any food not even toast and today is Tuesday and I started feeling weak and feeling very I’ll and now im starting to feel drained like I have not slept in days I don’t want to feel like this anymore

I hit my head 3 days ago on a concrete wall and the first day afew hours later I was getting really dizzy and shaky and anxious but also throwing up the second day I was completely fine just a small headache and today I wake up and first thing I open my eyes and everything is spinning like crazy but stops immediately and now has happened 3 times within this morning

Hello all about three weeks ago I was at the beach with family , my dad was putting up the windbreaker he was hitting it in with a large stone , I was sitting down and he drop it and it fell on my head , it was Smoove I just went ouch and we all laughed, it was heavy I did not black out or felt dizzy, and it was only ache for about ten mins , I now feeling a bit dizzy , but not if it the weather or where the stone hit me on the head , I keep feeling my head but no pain

30 years ago I hit my head really hard getting in a car. I’ve had a bump since then. When I went to the Gp 10 years ago she said that it’s not serious. Last night I bumped my head ( very lightly) in the same place and I nearly fainted. I get some dull pain when I touch the bump but it’s tolerable.
Could it be serious?

I had a really bad fall 6months ago landing on my front right top/side of my head. I didn't pass out or split my head open but my eye blackened and swelling was bad. For a few weeks after I had lots of dizziness and headaches but they all stopped and seemed fine. I didn't togo hospital but now I noticed indents in my head and today started feeling light headed and dizzy again. Should I be concerned or would I have noticed before now if I had any major damage? Should I be concerned ? TIA

I've had a same fall like a month ago and had a black eye on the left with some swelling on head.... I feel lightheaded and dizzy from the past few weeks. It also feels as if there's some pressure on the top of my head and the forehead and it makes me feel as if I'll fall.... It's constant and won't go away, what should I do

I began blacking out from a standing position about 1 and 1/2 yrs ago. Each time hitting my head really hard on our stone tile. As soon as I hit the floor, well it hurts and I come to immediately every single time. Last time a month ago,I blacked out and hit my head so hard I heard "CRACK"SO I made sure I got to the ER n requested an MRI for my head. Nothing was found. Lol Thank goodness. I've decided to get a second opinion especially since that crack was astronomically LOUD. It's always best to get checked

Ik denk dat je echt hulp moet opzoeken, dit is niet normaal. Ik hoop dat alles oke wordt.

(Approximate English translation: I think you really need to get help, this is not normal. I hope everything will be okay.)

So yesterday I went with my cousin to eat somewhere. When we wanted to go back to the car my head got hit by a pole. Like I bumped into it bc I didnt see it. Idk how. And wel l I didnt cry. In the car I felt fine. Until 2pm today I began getting dizzy. I went to sleep until 6pm and took a bath. Until now I'm still dizzy. I've tried the Exercises and everythig is fine. I'm doing my hw while dizzy. And is it just dizzy or I have a fever? Idk tho. Just telling :)

So I've hit my head on a metal revolving door pole yesterday and I've been feeling dizzy every 15 minutes. I've also been experiencing pain on the left side of my forehead (where I've been hit)
What do I do?

Seek medical assistance - drink plenty of water

My son in law and I were in an argument. He was high on cocaine and had quite a bit to drink. He punched me in my mouth causing stitches also closed fist punching me in my head at least 20 times. I had egg size knots all over my head. Since then I stand up and up and I get dizzy. I will my head down and I get dizzy. My eyes will be open or shut. I have sensitivity in my eyes. Light sensitivity, eyes not wanting to open or feel as I am constantly straining to keep them open. Please help.

My mom hit me in the head for exactly 13 times with her hand and im onnly 11 and ive been feeling dizzy for about a week and its not getting better

Call the police straight away omg ive only just seen this, are you OK at the moment

You need to tell another responsible adult and get help with this situation. School teacher, school nurse, family someone. This is abuse and should not be happening.

I know im replying super late! But your still very young does she always hit you like that? A lot of times unfortunately CPS does not do their job for the simple fact of just not caring! This was posted in 2020 and its now 2021 so you have to be 12 now or turning 12 this year if your mom is abusing you and no one is doing anything to help you sometimes you have to just fight back! Your older now so you have more strength than a poor innocent child that cannot yet deffend themselves! Fight back! Do to her whatever she does to you to see how she likes it. Fight back defend yourself. And NEVER! stop fighting back ever! You always defend yourself.

I am still here. I am the soldier who fell 700 feet without a parachute
Now after 30 years I am getting dizzy and more when I go to lay down .
My pain is still getting worst and it is hell.
I try to keep my senses but my body is killing my soul.
I believe that I am being punished for taking over 100 lives. War is not he'll. Living after war is hell

I was 2/75C2. At the time I was a Ranger I never guessed what I was doing was wrong. I used to think like you. I have had two severe pancreatitis attacks. Was on a feeding tube for 6 weeks. Had my gull bladder removed. And my dead part of my Pancreas cut out. Had a sack around my Pancreas that they drained out 1.5 liters of fluid. Or 3 pounds of fluid. What you and I have done was necessary. I had PTSD for years. Still do to a point. But would love the chance to help you.

Hey you, I would first like to say thank you for your service you are a hero and I would like to say that you are not being punished, you did what was asked of you in a time of war there is a special spot in heaven for you God understands what being a soldier entails he loves you always. Also I hope that you start to get some sort of relief soon and your doctors find something that helps with your pain.

im sorry this has happened to you... prayers and peace your way

So I had an cervical fusion anterior w an artificial discecty implantation after three weeks w any type of movement the room would spin get super sick at my stomach my heart rate would drop to 25 and I’d lose complete vision and black out for an hour and when I come too I’m in such a brain fog . I only do this when my neck and the base of my head is in severe pain . I’ve been to the surgeon who did my surgery he refuses to check into it n his reply u don’t have the symptoms w this surgery but I didn’t have them before the surgery and they’re getting worse and scary becuase idk if I’m having seizures or what w this . Need an idea of what is actually happening this has now been happening for four years now not getting no better

Early today I hit my head so hard that I thought it was bleeding. I almost went down but kept myself up... but my legs were wobbly and my head feels weird inside. I’m not sure if I’m talking slurry but the right side of my brainis moving around or something

I just googled what happened and found this discussion. I’m hoping by leaving a reply this will bookmark so I can come back

one thing i tried--i got hit by a car--at this stage you want to know if it's a concussion. might be.
if the cuts heal and the weird head feeling stays it is concussion. brains take alot longer to heal. watch a boxer when he is knocked out. it takes awhile and they call the fight. TKO. technical KO even if he gets up. you do not wqant to fall again. it it bothers you be CAREFUL. if you go in to DR. you might ask about a CTE or CAT scan or even MRI.
if yo have insurance go now. if you dont' wait a day. do not jump up to do anything.
wait watch get you balance before running to the phone, etc. have somebody come over and to move in. going up or down make it slowly. walk don't run ...read all about it.

but i found staring at computer screens was not a big help. booze is out for few days.
stay cool. analytical. do not freak. happens all the time....to others.

My mother aslo feeling dizzing but has only affected in left side of the brain when she bow her head she feels like fainting....what's the problem

I was rear ended almost 6 months ago. I had dizziness, imbalance, blurry vision, headaches of course, tinnitus, cognitive issues and like motion sickness and nausea. But the worst symptom I’m suffering from now is “emotional issues”. I get anxiety and cry and cry. Feeling so hopeless. Not understanding why I am so distraught when there are people with such more problems. I had to go back to work by the 6 month time frame due to benefits I would lose from my job. My job is very physical. It was very hard for me to go back to work with the emotional issues too. I got nauseas from overdoing it. I took Dramamine to keep the nausea away. Not the doctors orders but I had to do what I had to do. How long do the emotional affects last? I’m 57. I’m not very young. I need to work. I need a good psychiatrist for my emotional issues. My treatments I endured were Vestibular PT, chiro, psychologist, concussion center, ENT, neurologist, Neuro Ophthalmologist. I just thought my symptoms would go away. Most did but it’s still hard to function.

The best way to deal with the concussion-related issues is to see a good neuropsychologist who can perform comprehensive testing on you. In my clinic, I perform a functional brain scan in order to establish the exact Brodmann areas that have been affected. After that, we designed Neurofeedback and Cognitive Rehabilitation protocols along with receiving sessions with a good psychologist who specializes in TBI. Cognitive tests should be given periodically in order to monitor treatment progress from neurofeedback and cognitive rehabilitation. This approach has helped many of my patients.

I had a traumatic brain injury. 2 bleeds. I have the exact symptoms you describe. I went for 6 months before I found out about a treatment called biofeedback. or neurofeedback. this treatment started to help me where I was so distraught I did not want to live. I am still taking the treatment and it is helping. but the healing is very slow. I am way better than I was directly after the accident but still not the same. I had other injuries as well, and it could have been so much worse that I feel so guilty for being so distraught. but It is the brain injury controlling your emotions so please know, it can get better, mine has and I still have a way to go but like I said am way better than before. I wish I could help you. the doctors never thought I would get this far and said it would not get any better after 3 months but that is a lie and what they have to say to protect their liability. you can get better. see if you can find someone to do the neuro feedback treatment. it is drug free. the doctors wont tell you about it. but they are treating NFL players with this treatment (head injury players) and it was able to help t hem even after years of their damage. I used to not be able to stop crying at all... all of the things you mentioned. im so sorry that all of us on this site are going thru this and no one will try to help. one neurologist I went to told me to eat salty French fries. no kidding... im praying for you.. and all of us.

Can take up to a year to fully go away time is the only thing that helps every passing day not even a passing days but passing weeks ,time time time

My boyfriend hit me in the head continuously. I did go the ER and yes he's in jail. I was diagnosed w/ a contusion, hematoma, and a concussion. I have dizzy spells that come and go. I hate the feeling.

What can I do to stop it from returning?

The incident happened six days ago and the dizzy spells just started two days ago. Wtf is going on with me? Ty

Hi, I had the same situation and until now I still feel dizzy. My boyfriend hit me 3 times 2 days ago. I had headache since after he hit me and a say after that's the time I felt dizzy and couldn't watch a video for a long period of time. I couldn't go to the doctor due to Covid-19, government implemented total lockdown so I read so many articles about and it says that it may last upto 2weeks. We need to drink plenty of water, have more sleep and exercise as much as possible. You can also read further if you want so u can have more idea. I hope you are well now. Take care. -JAP

I'm sorry yall went through this... Same thing happen to me a week ago. My dizziness is getting worse. I feel sick from being dizzy. Its hard. I hope yall stay well. We arent alone.

I fell and hit my head, I also head a contusion and a CT scan showed bleeding on the brain. I started having dizziness a few hours after the fall. I am now 1 week and 2 days post concussion and the dizziness is still there and it seems to be getting worse! I am starting post concussive therapy tomorrow, hopefully it helps. How are you doing now?

Are you fine now

Heyy I’m so sorry you had to go through that :(
out of curiosity how’re you feeling now that’s it’s been a couple weeks?

I am so sorry for your suffering. Please go to a concussion center, a good neurologist, a good psychologist, and you need Vestibular PT. There are special glasses to wear for the blurry vision or what they call binocular vision. I chose not to get them cuz they were very expensive. Wishing you luck in your journey.

I got a bad concussion from boxing back in July. It turns out I had multiple concussions throughout all my years of boxing. Its almost been a year now and I get dizzy every day. Every few weeks I get really bad. It has taken a really big toll on my life and I've been mostly in bed. I would like to speak to others who are going through similar problems because I feel like im the only one sometimes and it will help me know I'm not the only one going through it.

I have been constantly dizzy for 3 months the whole time aftet a brain bleed its driving me mad .I know how you feel
I spend most of the time in bed
Ad I've lost my bala6

Hey Raymond, I got my 4th concussion playing lacrosse and have had dizziness and mental fog for almost a year now and its slowly getting better but its still there and is taking a big toll on my education as i am in college. How are you now?

Hey I feel your pain.
I feel backwards out of a spa and hit my head and got whiplash. That was in April, still getting headaches dizzy spells, ringing in my ear and a sense of something moving around my head and feels like an octopus is coming out my ear.
Family are great. But I do think at times I'm going mad. Would love to hear back

I got a concussion about two months ago and I haven’t been able to do much either the rooms been spinning so muchI am sensitive to light and irritable I’m supposed to be still on brain rest

Hi, last Nov 2017 I had a motorcycle accident and hours later I woke up in the ER of the hospital. My wound was here on my right forehead. Scan was clear. Now, it is fully healed but I still get dizzy. It is not as often as after the accident but the dizzy feeling is the same. Whenever I'm dizzy, it feels like I am spinning and melting down literally like ice thus rendering me immobile. When I lay down I feel more dizzy so I end up sitting, my back on a wall to get some balance. After a month or two, I also experience sharp whistling in my right ear. Also, right eye lower lid is twitching as often as ever. What should I do to help myself? I live in the Philippines. Please help me as I wanna get better. I am a mom of one very young child, 31.

Hi, I had a concussion after being rear ended. I had eye spasms, blurry vision, vertigo, couldn't stand light or sun, would blackout regularly and much more.

It's been 2 years and I am slowly getting better. The only things that helped me were amitriptyline medication and neuro physio.

The neurologist I saw was very good and from new Zealand. He said my brain was misfiring and no amount of rest would fix it.

Definitely try this medication. Alot of people with TBI are on it.

I am wondering if i have vertigo - about 3 years ago i had a very serious fall - broke both bones in my lower leg and had to have a nail from the knee to the ankle - was knocked out - became aggressive and extremely argumentative and finally i had landed across a step on the small of my back with all my weight and have done something to my back - the ambo service only documented the leg break - nothing else - since this happened i am in crippling pain with my lower back - still can get aggressive and argumentative (i have no patience with ditherers) and my head spins out - i have been know to pass out and twitch on the floor/ground and my bladder and bowel empty - yuck - its embarrassing when this happens - sounds are louder - my visions is blurry and the pains in my body intensify - i have been for an MRI and numerous doctors visits - even choppered into the nearest hospital for it - nothing - all the neurologist has said is - "You are having fainting spells" get real - can anyone else enlighten me?? Thanks

I am not in the medical field please know that, but I have had many of the same symptoms you have described, "i have been know to pass out and twitch on the floor/ground and my bladder and bowel empty"
You stated that you have had an MRI, did they also do an EEG when you went in? Have you been refereed to a neurologist? I have epilepsy, and what you are describing in what I quoted above sounds like what happens during a seizure sometimes.

It could ne epilepsy or profound syncope which is what I have. Had my heart checked and it is fine. Docs checked for epilepsy a d ruled it out. I have 4 to 6 syncope per year. Hard to ID the causes. Stress, anxiety, poor hydration, and anything that can lower blood pressure is to be avoided. On my last syncope, I must have shook hard and now fighting dizziness 3 months after that episode. Getting better but slow. I have to say that last Christmas I felt standing on my knees on my forehead. That concussion lasted 8 days. I’m more sensitive now.

I had a concussion and blacked out for about 2 minutes a couple of months ago. Scan had a drop of blood on my brain. 5 hours later, none or less. Lately the vertigo lasts most of the day. Bit sometimes occasionally even if I am sitting still. I "feel" it like a strain besides the spinning.

How long have you been getting the dizziness? Its been one year for me and I still get dizzy everyday. Gets hard and would like to speak to others going through the same problems

Dizziness caused by changes. Meaning what kind of changes?

I had a self-discussion about the same thing!