A sudden brief 10-second “head rush” has to have a reason!

This is not to be confused with what many people refer to as dizziness.

A head rush and dizziness are not one and the same.

Dizziness is what you feel after you’ve spun around or if you have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

The head rush suddenly comes on for no apparent reason and lasts about 10 seconds, maybe more, maybe less.

There are no other symptoms, no visual disturbance, balance problems, tremoring, numbness, tingling, weakness, headache, nausea, difficulty breathing, chest pain or sweating.

The head rush is something that makes you think, “Whoa! What just happened?!” or “What was THAT?!”

It may be described as a heaviness unfolding within the head.

It can happen while you’re seated or slowly walking; there’s no pattern.

The sensation is evenly distributed within the head, and is not the so-called faint feeling; the room does not start to “black out.”

The elevated heart rate that comes after is from the fear that something is very wrong with your body—of what’s going to happen next.

Causes of Brief, Sudden Head Rush

“I can’t claim to have any professional (or personal) experience with this symptom,” begins David D. Clarke, MD, President, Psychophysiologic Disorders Association (stressillness.com), Clinical Assistant Professor of Gastroenterology Emeritus, Oregon Health & Science University, and author of “They Can’t Find Anything Wrong.”

Dr. Clarke specializes in physical symptoms that result from stress.

“Because of the brevity of the symptom I suspect it involves a change in blood vessel diameter followed rapidly by a return to normal.

“Because vision is not affected it is more likely to be dilation of the blood vessels than constriction.

“Because you describe the symptom as ‘very scary’ for people it is most likely caused by anxiety.

“Increased anxiety can be triggered by subconscious processes that may or may not be linked to events current in the patient’s environment.

Panic attacks, for example, are a form of anxiety that can occur at any time and usually have no obvious trigger, though this symptom is not a panic attack.

“Without detailed interviews of the patients suffering from this symptom I can’t say much more about it than this, which is speculation.”

If you’ve ever experienced a brief sudden head rush that frightened you, share your experience in the comments box below this post.

Since 1983 Dr. Clarke has successfully cared for over 7,000 patients with stress illness.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.