- When To See A Doctor
- What Is It?
- What To Do
When to see a doctor for dizziness?
- Trauma to the head and neck
- Neck pain
- High grade fever, with or without chills
- Blurring of vision
- Loss of heating
- Difficulty speaking or slurred speech
- Numbness or tingling
- Drooping of the eye or the angle of the mouth
- Loss of consciousness
- Chest pain
- Continuous vomiting
- Projectile vomiting (severe vomiting wherein the vomit is forcefully expelled several feet away from the person vomiting)
What is dizziness?
Dizziness is a general term used to describe a range of sensations, such as feeling faint, lightheaded, weak or unsteady. Dizziness can create a false sense of spinning of self or the spinning of the surroundings (swaying). This may be associated with other symptoms including nausea, vomiting, sweating, headache or difficulty walking. Vertigo differs from dizziness due to the fact that vertigo is a true sensation of self-spinning or spinning of the surrounding. Dizziness on the other hand is less severe, with a feeling of imbalance or feeling “wonky” and lightheaded.
What are the symptoms of dizziness?
The common signs and symptoms of dizziness include:
What can you do when you have dizziness?
The following is advised during a sudden episode of dizziness:
- Sitting or lying down immediately and resting in a cool place till the symptoms resolve. This prevents the risk of losing balance, leading to a fall and serious injury. One may use a cane or walker or hand rails for support.
- Avoiding sudden movements of the head and neck and sudden change positions.
- Driving or any dangerous activities like operating heavy machinery should be avoided.
- Drinking fluids and remaining hydrated can help improve dizziness.
- Eating something sweet can help if the dizziness is caused due to low blood sugar,
- Tripping hazards such as rugs on the floor, low tables etc should be removed in the house to lower the risk of fall in those who have frequent episodes of dizziness.
- One may take over the counter anti-vertigo medications such as meclizine (Antivert) or antihistamines. Pain killers may be taken if there is associated headache.
What causes dizziness?
The causes of dizziness include the following:
- Disorders of the inner ear:
The inner ear maintains balance by sending impulses to the brain about head, neck and body movements. The most common inner ear disorders of the inner ear causing dizziness include:
BPPV: BPPV usually has no specific trigger, it could be because of trauma or sudden neck/ head movements. In BPPV tiny calcium particles (canaliths) accumulate in canals of the inner ear.
Meniere's disease: An inner ear disorder which could be autoimmune (when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks it’s own cells). In this condition, fluid accumulates in the inner ear and increases pressure in the ear. Patient typically present with vertigo, tinnitus (ringing sound in the ear) and hearing loss/ feeling of fullness in the ear (aural fullness)
Trauma: trauma to the ear or skull fractures can damage the structures of the inner ear.
Medications: certain medications can cause inner ear damage.
- Lesions (tumors) in the brain
- Inflammation/ infection of the brain
- Cervical spine disorders, such as cervical spondylosis
- Multiple sclerosis
- Alcohol intoxication
- Vertigo associated with migraine (migranous vertigo)
- Trauma to the head and neck
- Low blood pressure
- Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar)
- Heart disease
Can dizziness be prevented?
The following measures may help reduce the frequency and intensity of the episodes of vertigo:
- Doing activities that improve balance, such as vestibular rehabilitation exercises, yoga or Tai Chi.
- Adequate hydration by drinking at least eight glasses of water a day.
- Undisturbed sleep of at least seven hours and avoiding stressful situations.
- Eating a healthy diet that consists of vegetables, fruits and lean proteins
- Reducing salt content in food.
- Taking medications as prescribed.
- Manage psychological stress/ anxiety
Latest Healthy Living News
Daily Health News
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Dizziness: When To See a Doctor? Related Articles
What Happens After Endolymphatic Sac Decompression Surgery?Endolymphatic sac decompression surgery is done to drain excess fluid from the inner ear. After this surgery, the operated ear is covered with a Glasscock dressing, which is a special dressing applied to keep the pressure on the site to reduce swelling. There is usually some tenderness and discomfort in the operated ear and throat (from the breathing tube inserted during surgery), which may be controlled by painkillers.
Balance SlideshowWhat is vertigo? What causes dizziness? Understand different balance disorders and symptoms such as vertigo, motion sickness, nausea, and more.
What Does Chest Pain on the Left Side Above a Female Breast Mean?Chest pain on the left side above a female breast can have a variety of causes. Learn the signs of chest pain on the left side, what may cause it, how doctors diagnose it, and what you can do to treat it.
DizzinessDizziness is a symptom that often applies to a variety of sensations including lightheadedness and vertigo. Causes of dizziness include low blood pressure, heart problems, anemia, dehydration, and other medical conditions. Treatment of dizziness depends on the cause.
Dizziness: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentDizziness is a general term used to describe a range of sensations, such as feeling faint, light-headed, weak, or unsteady. Dizziness can create a false sense of a person’s head spinning or spinning of the surroundings or swaying.
How Do Doctors Evaluate Dizziness?Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness, fainting or a mild feeling of imbalance. Vertigo is the feeling that the stationary things around you are moving. Most dizzy spells are not serious.
How Do You Do the Epley Maneuver?This is a series of steps you can do at home to help reposition the canalith (bone-like pieces inside the ear canals) and help relieve dizziness or vertigo. Perform the Epley maneuver in six steps.
Is Pseudotumor Cerebri Serious?Pseudotumor cerebri is a medical condition that causes increased pressure inside the skull (intracranial pressure). This is due to increased fluid accumulation inside the skull. This fluid called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced inside the brain cavities and lubricates the coverings of the brain.
Neck Pain and DizzinessNeck pain is any degree of discomfort in the front or back of the neck between the head and the shoulders. Dizziness is characterized as either vertigo with disequilibrium or lightheadedness associated with feeling faint or the potential to lose consciousness. Causes of neck pain and dizziness vary, and treatment depends on the cause. With any unexplained or persisting neck pain or dizziness, consult with a health care professional, who can determine whether the symptoms are harmless and temporary or serious and threatening.
ProHance (gadoteridol)ProHance (gadoteridol) is a prescription medicine called a gadolinium-based contrast agent (GBCA) used with a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner. Serious side effects of ProHance include Nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF). Other side effects include allergic reaction, nausea, taste perversion, headache, feeling hot, or burning at the injection site.
Vertigo QuizTake the quiz and find out the causes, symptoms, treatments, and ways to prevent the confusing balance disorder called vertigo.
What Can Trigger Vertigo?Vertigo is the sensation of spinning or rocking, even when someone is at rest. Vertigo may be caused by a problem in the brain or spinal cord or a problem within in the inner ear. Head injuries, certain medications, and female gender are associated with a higher risk of vertigo. Medical history, a physical exam, and sometimes an MRI or CT scan are required to diagnose vertigo. The treatment of vertigo may include medication, special exercises to reposition loose crystals in the inner ear, or exercises designed to help the patient re-establish a sense of equilibrium. Controlling risk factors for stroke (blood pressure, weight, cholesterol, and blood glucose) may decrease the risk of developing vertigo.
What Causes Vertigo?Vertigo is a symptom that is characterized by a false sensation of spinning of the head or of surrounding objects when they are not. Patients feel giddy or dizzy and lose balance. The causes of vertigo can be classified into peripheral and central.
What Does Electronystagmography Test For?Electronystagmography (ENG) is a test that evaluates involuntary (not under conscious control) movements of the eyes (nystagmus). It is generally advised if you have unexplained dizziness, vertigo or hearing loss.
What Is an Endolymphatic Shunt?An endolymphatic shunt is a surgical procedure that involves placing a small silicone tube in the inner ear to drain excess fluid. This procedure can reverse damage to the ear due to fluid buildup.