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Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

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. Vomiting that is triggered by a change in your position may indicate a potentially serious cause within your central nervous system.

Some problems in the brain or nervous system that can cause recurring nausea or vomiting and headache, dizziness, or visual symptoms are listed below:


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.

Electrolyte Abnormalities

A low concentration of sodium in your blood can result in nausea and headache or other signs of abnormal central nervous system function. Low sodium can be identified by a blood test and can be caused by medications, a hormone abnormality, or a variety of medical causes.

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.


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. Vertigo usually arises from a problem within your balance control center (called the "labrinth" or the "vestibular system") near to your inner ear. Common causes of vertigo include mineral debris within the fluid of your balance center ("benign positional vertigo"), a tumor on a nerve within your balance system ("acoustic neuroma"), or a viral infection ("labrynthitis"). Your doctor may be able to prescribe medication to minimize your nausea and other symptoms if you have vertigo.

Brain Tumor

Because a tumor can cause swelling or compression of the brain, it may result in nausea or vomiting. A brain tumor can 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. Headaches from a brain tumor are typically most severe upon awakening in the morning.

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.


An excess of fluid pressure in the spaces known as the "ventricles" of the brain can cause damage to the brain and it typically causes vomiting and headache. There are a variety of causes of hydrocephalus. This problem should be considered if you are having difficulty walking, if you have episodes of confusion or unexplained agitation, or if you have a headache and vomiting that can not be explained by another diagnosis.

Stress, Anxiety or Depression

Anxiety and depression can result in nausea or vomiting and they also commonly cause headaches. This explanation may be considered by your doctor 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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