Mild, Moderate, and Severe Vertigo

Topic Overview

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when there is no actual movement. The motion commonly is described as a feeling of spinning or whirling, but it also can include sensations of falling or tilting. Vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. It may be difficult to walk or stand, and you may lose your balance and fall.

  • Mild vertigo occurs occasionally for a brief time and goes away on its own. Nausea, but not vomiting, also may be present.
  • Moderate vertigo requires that you lie down and lie still (no head motion) to stop the feeling of movement. Nausea is present and you may vomit occasionally, but you are able to keep fluids down.
  • Severe vertigo occurs when the feeling of movement is continuous even when lying down. Nausea and vomiting are so severe that you will vomit most of the fluid you drink.

Credits

Author Jan Nissl, RN, BS
Editor Susan Van Houten, RN, BSN, MBA
Associate Editor Tracy Landauer
Primary Medical Reviewer William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Last Updated January 13, 2009

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