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What Causes the Room to Spin? A Vertigo Guide


If you’ve ever felt like the room was spinning or like you might faint from standing up too fast, then you know how disorienting it can be.

Most people have experienced this sensation. It’s usually known as dizziness but it can also be called vertigo. Both of these are symptoms of an underlying condition.

What causes the room to spin? There are different factors but the good news is that there are a variety of treatments to help ease these symptoms. This guide will go through the causes of why the room might be spinning and what you can do when it happens.

Keep reading to learn more.

What Causes Vertigo?

These cases of sudden and extreme dizziness can have multiple causes or it might be seemingly out of nowhere. Many of the conditions that lead to vertigo occur because of an imbalance in the inner ear, motion sickness, or a problem with the central nervous system.

Let’s look at the different reasons why you might see the room spinning.

Inner Ear Problems

One of the biggest culprits of vertigo is problems with the inner ear. Your sense of balance is a combined input from the various parts of your sensory system, including your eyes, your sensory nerves, and your inner ear.

Your eyes help determine your body’s movement and the space surrounding it. The sensory nerves send messages about your body movements to your brain. Meanwhile, the inner ear includes special sensors that help identify gravity and motion.

If you have an issue with your inner ear, the brain can receive signals from it that aren’t consistent with what your sensory nerves and eyes are receiving. You get vertigo when your brain works out that confusion.

The most common cause of vertigo is BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This is a powerful, short false sense that you’re spinning or moving. These often occur during a rapid change in head movement.

A viral infection of the vestibular nerve can also cause intense vertigo.

Additionally, there’s Meniere’s disease. When you have too much fluid in your inner ear, it can lead to potential hearing loss as well as periods of vertigo that can last for hours. This could be another reason for your dizziness.

Circulatory Problems

If your heart isn’t pumping enough blood to your brain, you might also be feeling the room spin.

This can be caused by a drop in blood pressure that results in brief lightheadedness or feeling faint. You might be familiar with this if you sit up or stand up too quickly.

There’s also poor blood circulation. Several conditions like heart arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy can cause dizziness. A decrease in blood volume can cause poor blood flow to your brain or inner ear.

Other Causes

Both inner ear and circulatory problems are two of the biggest vertigo causes but they’re not the only causes. Here are other reasons why you might feel dizzy and lightheaded:

  • Side effects of certain medications that lower blood pressure
  • Panic attacks and other anxiety disorders
  • Neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis
  • Overheating and dehydration
  • Low iron levels and low blood sugar
  • Carbon Monoxide poisoning

While there may be different reasons for your vertigo, these are the most common. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you have persistent vertigo that gets in the way of your day to day life.

How to Stop Dizziness

Now that you know what causes dizziness, it’s time to learn how to stop it. You may have an episode of vertigo that only occurs once or you may have times that it reoccurs or lasts for days. Without treatment, this can add a lot of unnecessary stress to your life.

The good news is that there are a handful of things you can do to stop the room from spinning.

Drink Fluids

If you’re experiencing vertigo and want to alleviate the symptoms as quickly as possible, be sure to stay hydrated. This helps prevent or minimize dizziness. Without enough fluids, your blood pressure lowers and it can make you lightheaded.

Have access to some tea? Ginger root tea is known for its effectiveness in treating vertigo. It works by improving blood flow to your brain.

Focus on Something Still

There are ways to tackle vertigo in the long run but when you feel symptoms coming on, try to find a place to sit if you aren’t already. It’s important to stop what you’re doing and focus on a stationary object. This helps your blood pressure normalize and keeps your sensory system from tricking you.


If you suffer from frequent vertigo, the best option is to get medication for it. Most of the time, medications are treating the cause which alleviates the symptom of dizziness. For example, there are water pills if you have Meniere’s disease or anti-anxiety medication if anxiety is the main culprit of vertigo.


In addition to medication, there are different types of therapy to help with vertigo. One of the most well-known types is balance therapy, this helps make your balance system less sensitive to motion. It’s also known as vestibular rehabilitation and it’s for people who feel very dizzy from inner ear conditions.

Psychotherapy is a great option for people whose vertigo is caused by anxiety and then there are head position maneuvers. This technique is also called Canalith repositioning and it involves a professional (like a doctor or physical therapist) maneuvering the position of your head.

What Causes the Room to Spin?

Nobody enjoys the feeling of dizziness and being lightheaded. While it may be common, there’s a portion of the population that experiences the room spinning sensation more often than they should.

So, what causes the room to spin? There are a variety of factors, ranging from problems with the inner ear to anxiety disorders. The good news is that there’s plenty of treatment options to help you feel balanced and decrease sudden dizziness.

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