Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Can one have vertigo due to a head injury?"

ZocdocAnswersCan one have vertigo due to a head injury?


I hit my head pretty hard while playing bocce last summer, and I ended up going to the hospital with a concussion. Ever since then, I have very infrequent but debilitating bouts of dizziness that seem like vertigo. Is it possible that this is a result of my old head injury, or is it another problem?


Head injury and concussion are, unfortunately, a common problem and sometimes can cause persistent symptoms. The doctors who will be able to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor and your neurologist. There can be many causes of dizziness or vertigo. However, given the history that you have had of concussion, this is the number one concern. The resolution of concussion symptoms, such as headache, fatigue, nausea, memory problems, and dizziness, is usually rapid, over a course of days to weeks. However, in a small subset of people who have concussion the symptoms can go on for a very long time indeed, such as the intermittent bouts of dizziness that you experience. These cases should be followed closely by a neurologist. It is possible that the dizzy spells you have are unrelated to the concussion. For example mispositioning of sensory organs in the inner ear, inflammation of the inner ear, and many medications can all cause dizziness. But, in your case, it is best to rule out a concussion related effect first. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular concern will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Given the chronicity of these symptoms, seeing your neurologist as soon as possible is advised.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.