Difference between Nausea and Dizziness

Key Difference: Nausea is a sensation that one feels when he is about to vomit. Dizziness is to have a sensation of turning around that is feeling unbalanced or lightheaded.

Nausea is a sensation that one feels when he is about to vomit. The word nausea has been derived from the word ‘nausia’, meaning motion sickness. Nausea does not have a specific symptom, but it has many possible causes. Nausea basically is a sickness of the stomach that occurs after having food. It especially happens by a strong dislike/disgust or bad feeling, and that may lead to an impulse to vomit.

Dizziness is to have a sensation of turning around that is feeling unbalanced or lightheaded. It is basically a sensation of instability. Dizziness can refer to vertigo, disequilibrium, or a non-specific feeling such as foolishness or giddiness. The sensations like floating, moving, whirling is known as vertigo. It can also occur when one is standing still or lying down. Standing up too quickly, or exercising too hard on a hot day can cause to a dizzy or lightheaded feeling.

Comparison between Nausea and Dizziness:






  • Sickness of the stomach, especially when accompanied by a loathing for food and an involuntary impulse to vomit.
  • Extreme disgust; loathing; repugnance.
  • Having a sensation of whirling and a tendency to fall; giddy; vertiginous.
  • Bewildered; confused.
  • Causing giddiness or confusion: a dizzy height.
  • Heedless; thoughtless.
  • Informal. Foolish; silly.


  • Emotional stress
  • Motion sickness
  • Intense pain
  • Overeating
  • Food poisoning
  • Vomiting
  • Infections such as stomach flu
  • Pain head discomfort
  • Disturbances of vision, brain, gastrointestinal system
  • Fainting
  • Motion sickness
  • Confusion
  • Fatigue


  • Pregnancy
  • Gastroenteritis
  • Migraine
  • Appendicitis
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Stress
  • Skipping meals
  • Standing up too quickly
  • Hormonal changes
  • Anemia
  • Thyroid disease
  • Drugs reactions
  • Migraine headaches
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Extra fluid in the inner ear

Unusual causes

  • An abnormally high blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • A blockage in your bowel, such as a gallstone
  • Kidney infection
  • Severe illness or disease that effects whole body
  • Recreational drugs or excess alcohol
  • Certain types of prescription medicines
  • Heart rhythm problem such as fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning


  • Drink clear, cold water
  • Eat only light foods
  • Stay away from fried
  • Steer clear of sweets
  • Rest for a while after eating
  • Maintain a proper nutrition, so find a variety of vegetables and proteins
  • Sit or lie down for sometime
  • Drink water
  • Never walk in the dark
  • Have something o eat after sometime
  • Focus on a particular spot
  • Breath deeply
  • Avoid direct light on the face
  • Wear flat shoes


  • Mary complained of nausea and diarrhea.
  • The nausea was so intense that she vomited in the party.
  • The long and deep rides can encourage nausea.
  • She often complains of dizziness and difficulty sleeping.
  • The outward sign include sweaty palms, breathings problems and dizziness.
  • Excessive noise pollution can also cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea.

Image Courtesy: lifeaftertwobluelines.blogspot.in, doctorrennie.files.wordpress.com

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I understand lot of efforts have gone to put up this post. Quite an exhaustive list of comparison of both nausea and dizziness. I would like to add a point or two here, if you don't mind: as you rightly put, nausea and dizziness are different from one another, nausea sometimes is an associated symptom of dizziness. Nausea, vomiting, motion sickness are some of the associated symptoms of dizziness or vertigo or spinning sensation. That is because, due to inner ear problem, the brain cannot understand whether the body needs to move or be still ( thanks to the jumbled up signals the problem ear sends to the brain!!). Hence the spinning, moving, whirling or swaying sensation, called dizziness/vertigo. This condition induces motion sickness and nausea. Vertigo suppressant drugs, actually suppress these associated symptoms and relieve the person of the discomfort. I would suggest a read here: https://www.neuroequilibrium.in for those who are interested to know more how nausea and dizziness differ and how they are caused. As your list points, the underlying medical conditions cause these signs and need to be treated. Thank you for such an informative post and your efforts.

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