Dizziness
(Dizzy)

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Dizziness facts

  • Dizziness is a symptom that is often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation of spinning, while lightheadedness is typically considered near fainting, and weakness.
  • Some of the conditions that may cause dizziness in a patient include low blood pressure, high blood pressure, dehydration, medications, postural or orthostatic hypotension, diabetes, endocrine disorders, hyperventilation, heart conditions, and vasovagal syncope.
  • Vertigo is most often caused by a problem in the balance centers of the inner ear called the vestibular system and causes the sensation of the room spinning. It may be associated with vomiting. Symptoms often are made worse with position changes. Those with significant symptoms and vomiting may need intravenous medication and hospitalization.
  • Vertigo is also the presenting symptom in patients with Meniere's Disease and acoustic neuroma, conditions that often require referral to an ENT specialist.
  • Most often, dizziness or lightheadedness is a temporary situation that resolves spontaneously without a specific diagnosis being made.

Introduction to dizziness (feeling dizzy)

Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms that will prompt a person to seek medical care. The term dizziness is difficult to understand since it means different things to different people. It is either the sensation of feeling lightheaded as if the individual is weak and will pass out, or it describes vertigo or the sensation of spinning, as if the affected person just got off a merry-go-round.

Lightheadedness is often caused by a decrease in blood supply to the brain, while vertigo may be caused by disturbances of the inner ear and the balance centers of the brain. It is important that the health care professional understand the complaint the person is experiencing. That is the first step so that the proper direction can be taken for a diagnosis and treatment.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/24/2014

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Dizziness Symptoms and Signs

Dizziness is a painless head discomfort with many possible causes including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance (vestibular) system of the inner ear, and gastrointestinal system. Dizziness is a medically indistinct term which laypersons use to describe a variety of conditions such as lightheadedness, unsteadiness, and vertigo.

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