Dizziness (Dizzy)

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Balance Disorders: Vertigo, Migraines, Motion Sickness and More

Quick GuideBalance Disorders: Vertigo, Motion Sickness, Labyrinthitis, and More

Balance Disorders: Vertigo, Motion Sickness, Labyrinthitis, and More

When should I call the doctor for dizziness?

Dizziness is a common complaint and often has resolved by the time the patient arrives to see a health care professional. Usually there is no rush to seek care. However, while the complaint of dizziness is not often an emergency, care should be sought immediately if it is accompanied by any of the following:

  • Chest pain, shortness of breath, or palpitations. These symptoms should not be ignored as they suggest the heart may be the source of the dizziness.
  • Dehydration. Often there may be an associated illness including fever, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • People with diabetes may have dizziness due to low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) or high blood sugar (hyperglycemia), and may need emergent care to stabilize their insulin and medication requirements.
  • Bleeding from any source.
  • Altered mental status or thinking. This may include symptoms such as confusion, change in vision, change in speech, facial droop, weakness of one side of the body, or headache. These may be signs of stroke, bleeding in the brain, or tumor.
  • Vertigo may cause significant problems with vomiting and may be debilitating. Often, medical care is needed to control symptoms even though the underlying problem is not necessarily serious.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/27/2015

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