Dizziness - Diagnosis

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please describe your diagnosis of your dizziness.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver

* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!

I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the black triangle:

How is dizziness diagnosed?

The diagnosis of dizziness begins with the health care professional deciding whether the complaint of dizziness refers to lightheadedness or vertigo. Further diagnosis continues once this distinction is made.

The key to the diagnosis of dizziness is a thorough history and physical examination. Often the diagnosis is made by listening to the patient's story. The health care professional may ask about triggers that cause and relieve the symptoms of dizziness.

  • "Is it related to changing positions quickly?"
  • "Does it resolve on its own or does the patient have to do something, like lie down to make it better?"
  • "Does turning the head bring on the symptoms? Do the symptoms resolve when the patient is very still?"
  • "Is there associated hearing loss or ringing in the ears?"

A review of systems is a series of questions that review the patient's body functions. Questions may be asked about associated symptoms including fever, vomiting, diarrhea, chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations, or abnormal bleeding.

The past medical history may be reviewed, and this includes reviewing medications the patient is currently taking.

A thorough physical examination will likely be done; this may include:

Vital signs: Taking the patient's blood pressure and pulse rate lying down and standing (called orthostatic or postural vital signs) often will indicate the fluid status of the body. In patients who are dehydrated or bleeding, the blood pressure may fall and pulse rate may rise on changing position. However, patients taking medications like beta blockers will not generate an increased pulse rate.

Tailored physical examination: Often, the physical examination is tailored to the patient based upon the information provided in the patient's medical history. For example, a woman with a heavy menstrual period may need a pelvic examination, or a patient with cough and shortness of breath may need a closer examination of the heart and lungs. A patient thought to have vertigo will have closer focus on the neurologic exam, including the cerebellum, the portion of the brain responsible for balance and coordination.

Imaging studies and blood tests: The need for imaging studies and/or and blood tests will depend on the concerns the health care professional and patient have in regard to the cause of the dizziness. Common tests that may be ordered include:

  • Complete blood count (CBC) to screen for anemia or infection
  • Electrolyte levels
  • Blood sugar tests
  • Kidney function tests
  • Thyroid tests

X-rays, CT scans, and MRI may be indicated depending upon the patient's needs.

Return to Dizziness

See what others are saying

Comment from: Faith, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

I had shakiness, dizziness, nausea, heart palpitations, and brain fog until I became totally home bound. I saw 50 doctors until one looked at my five inch thick chart and all these tests. I thought I had mycotoxins poisoning which is black mold. How is that possible! Well, we tore open a wall to look inside, and guess what, behind the sheet rock we had hidden black mold in our house. The mold was odorless, and invisible. We moved into our condominium and I slowly got better; it took 14 months to get well!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Eileen, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 11

I have been having blackouts or near blackouts for about two years. It only happens at night. It started with one episode every four months to three weeks to three months with having about six in a cluster. I have had every test for heart, head and even kidneys. The doctors can't find anything. It's scary. Last night I woke up, and had a blackout followed with a hot flash and nausea. I had about six more.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors