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Some people experience a feeling of pressure in the head or behind the eyes. The head may pound or feel very full. It may worsen if a person changes position. Feelings of pressure in the head and dizziness may occur together. Head pressure may be a type of headache or may happen alongside a headache.
Head pressure and dizziness can often occur due to migraine. Any chronic or very severe and sudden symptoms may warn of a serious underlying condition.
It is important to note that there are four types of dizziness:
Vertigo: A person experiences a sensation that they are moving when they are still or feels as though they are spinning.Disequilibrium: A person feels wobbly or off-balance.Presyncope: A person feels as though they are passing out.Lightheadedness: A person feels vague, as if they are losing connection with their environment.
A person might be able to identify which type of dizziness they feel, which could help a doctor diagnose the cause accurately.
This article will list some possible causes of head pressure and dizziness occurring together. It will also cover some treatment options for each one and explain when a person should contact a doctor.
However, these are not the only possible causes of head pressure and dizziness. A person should contact a doctor to receive a full examination and the correct diagnosis.
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Seasonal allergies, which doctors sometimes call allergic rhinitis, can cause feelings of pressure in the head and sinuses.
Some people also experience symptoms such as sneezing, itchy eyes, a sore throat, and a general feeling of being unwell. Any of these symptoms can lead to dizziness, especially if a person feels very congested or develops sinusitis.
A number of treatments can help ease the symptoms of allergies. The first is avoiding allergens by staying indoors more often during allergy season or using an air filter. Some people also find that wearing masks helps ease allergy symptoms.
Taking allergy medications can also ease symptoms. Immunotherapy, which exposes a person to very small quantities of the allergen to stop their body from overreacting to it, can also be helpful. People who are interested in a permanent solution to allergies could ask a doctor about immunotherapy in the form of allergy shots.
Learn more about allergy medications here.
A headache that results from sinusitis can cause feelings of pressure in the head, especially near the front of the face and under the eyes. This happens because fluid builds up in the sinuses, generally due to an infection.
Some people also get dizzy, feel sick, or have lower energy levels.
Applying heated pads or warm compresses to the face may help. Some people may also find relief by taking allergy medications or over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
Antibiotics can treat some sinus infections, but only if they are due to bacteria. They cannot help with viral infections.
Some people may develop a chronic form of sinusitis that may require a consultation with a specialist.
Learn about home remedies to ease sinus pressure here.
Ear infections usually affect the middle ear, which is just past the eardrum. These infections are common among children. Sometimes, an ear infection follows another illness, such as a sinus infection or the flu.
The middle ear makes fluid itself to keep itself clean. This fluid should drain into the throat through an opening. However, if the throat becomes swollen, the opening swells shut. Therefore, the fluid collects, which can be painful. It may then become infected.
Symptoms may come on suddenly, and most people develop a fever. A person may also have pressure in the head, ringing in the ears, or dizziness.
Lying down with the ear that hurts facing up, with a heated pad on top, may help relieve the pain of an ear infection. This is because gravity helps the fluid from the ear drain into the throat. Also, the heat from the pad helps keep the drainage site open.
Taking OTC pain relievers can also help ease the symptoms.
Antibiotics may help treat middle ear infections, especially in young children and people with weak immune systems. However, draining the ear by lying on the correct side will help stop the condition from recurring and prevent a ruptured eardrum, which could happen due to fluid buildup.
Learn more about how to treat ear infections here.
Migraine is a neurological type of headache that happens when changes in the brain cause head pain and other unusual sensations.
Some people experience migraine as head pressure along with other neurological symptoms, such as:
dizzinesssensitivity to lightvomitinghearing unusual soundsseeing unusual lights
Taking pain relievers may help ease a migraine headache, but people experiencing chronic migraine headaches should contact a doctor. They can prescribe medications to prevent migraine headaches and rule out other conditions.
The doctor may also recommend keeping a log of headaches to help with identifying potential triggers.
Learn about migraine triggers and how to avoid them here.
A tension headache happens when muscle tension radiates to the head. A person may also experience shoulder or neck pain.
Tension headaches tend to come on slowly, getting worse over time and causing pain throughout the head and sometimes a feeling of pressure. Very bad tension headaches can also make a person feel dizzy.
Some people may find relief from tension headaches by applying hot or cold packs to the neck or head or by taking OTC headache medications.
Chronic tension headaches occur when a person experiences a tension headache for 15 or more days per month for at least 3 months. They sometimes happen when a person has underlying muscle issues, sits at a computer all day, or has chronic stress. A doctor may be able to identify strategies for dealing with these issues.
Learn about 19 natural remedies for headaches here.
High blood pressure, especially a sudden shift in blood pressure, may cause pain and pressure in the head, as well as dizziness.
Any type of pain, including that associated with headaches, may also cause high blood pressure. However, in this case, relieving the headache may not lead to lower blood pressure.
It is important to talk with a doctor about high blood pressure, as making behavioral changes and taking medications, such as beta-blockers, can help.
A person may find that managing stress or eating less salt can also help lower their blood pressure.
A home blood pressure reading with a systolic (top) number above 180 or a diastolic (bottom) number above 120 warrants a 911 call or a trip to the emergency room.
Learn about 15 ways to naturally lower blood pressure here.
When a person has intracranial hypertension, it means that there is higher pressure from the fluid that cushions the brain. This can happen for many reasons, including:
a serious head injurya strokean infection or growth in the brain, including a brain tumor
A person may experience a chronic throbbing headache or neurological symptoms such as vision issues or difficulty concentrating. If this is the case, a person should contact a doctor, as these symptoms can be life threatening.
Some people develop intracranial hypertension for no clear reason. Doctors call this idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). Making certain lifestyle changes, such as losing weight, may help with IIH.
Learn more about increased intracranial pressure here.
A person should contact a doctor if they:
have an ear infection or ear pain that gets worse or does not improve within a few dayshave a headache that lasts longer than a day or have frequent headacheshave severe allergiesthink that they may have migraine headaches have headaches that affect their mental health or daily functioning
A person should go to the emergency room if they experience any of the following:
a sudden, unexplained, very severe headache that makes it impossible to do anything else, along with other symptoms, such as nausea or tinglingstroke symptoms, such as numbness on one side of the body or a drooping faceloss of consciousness, a feeling of being very well, or a worry that their headache is an emergency
Some other symptoms a person might notice with a headache and dizziness include:
nauseafatiguea fever congestion or face pain sneezing panic or anxiety
The following symptoms can also occur, but they are more likely to signal an emergency:
numbness on one side of the body confusion blurry vision high blood pressure
When a headache or dizziness lasts for a long time, it is more likely that a person has a chronic or serious condition, such as migraine, head pressure from a tumor or infection, or a brain injury.
A person should avoid self-diagnosing and contact a doctor if they are concerned.
Learn more about persistent headaches here.
Some people develop may headaches or dizziness after eating. This does not necessarily mean that food caused the symptoms, so it is important to look at other factors.
Sometimes, however, food poisoning, food sensitivities, and even overeating may cause dizziness and headaches, as well as stomach pain.
A person may also develop a headache after eating sugar.
Learn more about sugar headaches here.
Headaches can be very painful, but they are usually harmless. In most cases, a person can manage the symptoms at home.
When the headache is intense or lasts a long time, however, it is important to contact a doctor. Receiving early treatment can improve the outlook even for very serious illnesses.
A person should avoid self-diagnosing and instead seek an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment for symptoms of any severity that are concerning them.
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