Dizziness can be a described as the result of a confusion between what the eyes see and the brain is told. If we spin round and round then stop suddenly it can feel as if the room is still moving even though we can see quite clearly that everything is standing still and that our feet are planted firmly on the floor. In classical dancing spinning can form the centre piece of many famous ballets and being able to avoid or control dizziness is essential. Dizziness alters our ability to balance.
Balance is governed primarily by information received through our eyes and by three fluid filled chambers, called semi-circular canals, in the inner ear. When we turn our head from side to side this fluid stays relatively static compared with the movement of the head. Fine hairs projecting into the fluid and connected to special nerve cells which pick up the movement of the fluid and send a message to the brain. The difference between the movement of the fluid and the movement of the head is processed by the brain to calculate the speed and direction of the movement.
However when the body spins round continually the fluid in the inner ear picks up momentum and spins as well. Once this momentum is built up, it is slow to stop. The fluid in the balance organs keeps spinning even after the head is static. So the brain believes the body is still spinning even though the eyes are telling it the opposite. This contradiction between inner ear balance organs and vision (you can see you have stopped but it feels as if you haven’t) causes dizziness. The brain gets two different messages and is trying to work out which one is telling the truth.
In most people dizziness calms down quite soon.