How are dizziness and vertigo characterized?

Updated: Mar 13, 2017
  • Author: Hesham M Samy, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Dizziness includes light-headedness, unsteadiness, motion intolerance, imbalance, floating, or a tilting sensation. It is essential to distinguish vertigo, which is a subtype of dizziness defined as an illusion of movement caused by asymmetric input to the vestibular system, from other types of dizziness. This dichotomy is helpful because true vertigo is often due to inner-ear disease, whereas other symptoms of dizziness may be due to central nervous system (CNS ), cardiovascular, or systemic diseases.

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