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Nausea and Vomiting

When nausea or vomiting is associated with a headache, dizziness, or blurred or blocked vision, it may be from a benign cause or a dangerous cause.

You should seek urgent medical attention if your symptoms are severe, if you have visual problems that have not yet been evaluated and explained, if your headache or nausea last more than several hours, or if you have numbness, weakness, confused thinking, or difficulty walking or speaking normally.

Some common problems that can cause nausea or vomiting and headache, dizziness, or visual symptoms are listed below:

Migraine

A migraine headache commonly causes nausea and vomiting. Migraines may include an experience of flashing lights that interrupt your normal vision. Most migraine headaches are throbbing headaches that are stronger on one side of your head than the other.

Stroke

It is unusual for nausea or vomiting and headache to be the only symptoms of a stroke. A stroke can also result in difficulty speaking or walking, an interruption of your vision, drooping of one side of your face, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, confused thinking, or dizziness. Doctors can treat your stroke if you get to an emergency room as soon as possible after the start of your symptoms.

Severe Hypertension

Hypertension can cause a headache when it is not well controlled. Rarely, hypertension can cause swelling within the brain when it is very severe, a problem known as hypertensive encephalopathy. Hypertensive encephalopathy is a dangerous condition that can result in confused thinking and vomiting.

Glaucoma

If the eye develops a high internal pressure, the damage that results is called glaucoma. Most glaucoma develops very slowly and causes symptoms of slowly progressive impairment in your vision. One type of glaucoma develops rapidly and results in headache, redness or pain of the eye, nausea or vomiting, and weakness or fatigue in addition to blurred vision. Glaucoma is an emergency that requires immediate treatment.

Vertigo

If you are having a spinning or falling sensation at times when you are not actually in motion, or an exaggerated perception of motion, you have the symptom, "vertigo." Vertigo is a form of dizziness. Vertigo episodes may be triggered by sudden head movements or rolling over. labrynthitis is a viral infection within your balance control center near to your inner ear, and it is one cause of vertigo. Labrynthitis commonly also causes headache, nausea or vomiting. This type of infection is not a dangerous condition, but it is quite uncomfortable. Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication to minimize your nausea and other symptoms if you have vertigo.

Alcohol or Other Intoxicating Substances

Headache and nausea or vomiting are common symptoms of both intoxication and withdrawal from alcohol, and these symptoms can also result from other intoxicating substances.

Stress, Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety can result in nausea or vomiting and it commonly causes a headache. This is a diagnosis your doctor may consider if a medical cause of your symptoms is not found. Medications that treat anxiety or depression may cause nausea, vomiting, or headache as side effects.

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Harvard Health Publications Source: from the Harvard Health Publications Family Health Guide, Copyright © 2007 by President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.

Used with permission of StayWell.

Use of this content is subject to specified Terms and Conditions and a Medical Disclaimer.

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