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Dizziness (Lightheadedness)

Dizziness | Healthier Me Today

Learn more about the causes, treatment of dizziness options and symptoms of dizziness by reading here!

What is Dizziness?

Feeling lightheaded is a widespread complaint amongst older people. It can, however, be experienced by anyone and can be caused by several reasons. 

It often isn’t something to worry about, and the common causes of dizziness may not be life-threatening. However, if it does increase and does not subside, it may cause alarm. Do not ignore it if it is recurring and is accompanied by other symptoms of dizziness. 

Everyone has felt dizzy at least once in their life, whether it was due to injury, ailment, or simply getting up too fast from a seated or horizontal position. It is easy to identify and can come in many different degrees.

An early warning sign or symptom on its own can indicate underlying and undiagnosed conditions. This is why it is best to monitor it and pay attention to when it occurs. 

Symptoms of Dizziness

People experience dizziness symptoms of dizziness differently, but there are primary sensations that come with feelings of lightheadedness. These symptoms of dizziness are often;

  • Feeling faint
  • Feeling as though you’re floating or swimming
  • Unsteadiness
  • Loss of balance
  • False sense of spinning
  • Heavy-headedness
  • Nausea 

Common Causes of Dizziness

Feeling woozy and off-balance is sometimes a normal response of the body, such as when we spin around, have a cold, or have not eaten or drunk for an extended period. However, there are other causes that could indicate a more severe condition. It could also be because of a common but not often thought of a reason. Some of the primary causes for lightheadedness include the following; 

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Inner ear infections
  • Migraine
  • Low blood sugar
  • Low blood pressure
  • Alcohol use
  • BPPV from head injury or age
  • Undiagnosed vertigo
  • Motion sickness
  • Anaemia

Serious Causes of Dizziness 

Meniere’s Disease

This is when there is an excessive fluid buildup in the inner ear and a serious cause of dizziness. Sudden episodes of vertigo will occur, lasting for several hours. There is also the chance of fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and feeling as though it is blocked.

Poor Blood Circulation

A serious cause of dizziness can be heart arrhythmia, transient ischemic attack, heart attack, and cardiomyopathy. In addition, poor circulation and a decrease in blood volume can cause compromised blood flow to the brain or inner ear, resulting in the feeling of lightheadedness. 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

The symptoms of dizziness associated with carbon dioxide poisoning are often described as being flu-like. In addition, they include dizziness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, upset stomach, and vomiting. 

Neurological Conditions

Some neurological disorders can cause progressive loss of balance. Some of these conditions include multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’sParkinson’s disease. 

Dehydration and Overheating

Being active or in the heat of the sun for long periods can cause you to become dehydrated, making you feel dizzy. In addition, if you do not drink fluids, there is a chance you could get hyperthermia which can make the dizziness much worse. 

When to Seek Medical Advice – Serious Cause of Dizziness

Often dizziness is overlooked. Especially by those who experience it frequently. Although it can be a benign reason, it is always best to ask your doctor if any of these symptoms of dizziness are accompanied by your dizziness;

  • Blurred vision
  • High fever
  • Neck ache
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Chest pain
  • Ongoing vomiting
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Droopiness of the mouth or eyes
  • Struggling to speak
  • Dizziness after head injury
  • Loss of consciousness

If you experience symptoms such as dizziness combined with other symptoms, it is essential to speak to your doctor immediately to eliminate other severe health problems.

They will be able to pinpoint the cause of your dizziness by doing a physical examination and asking questions about when it occurs, in what situations, the severity of the symptoms, and which symptoms accompany the dizziness. 

Treatment of Dizziness

You will have to focus on treating the underlying cause! In some cases, home remedies and medical treatment of dizziness can prevent and control lightheadedness.

Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety-reducing techniques and medication can help with the dizziness associated with anxiety disorder and its stress. 

Meniere’sMeniere’s Disease

This can be treated and controlled by following a healthy low-sodium diet, ear surgery, and occasional injections. 

Migraines 

Identifying triggers, medications, and lifestyle changes will help treat dizziness brought on by my migraines.

Inner-ear Issues

To help treat inner-ear issues, your doctor will provide medication and exercises you can do to help control your balance.

Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV)

Some patients require surgery if manoeuvres cannot control their BPV to alleviate symptoms. 

Other

Dizziness caused by excessive exercise, dehydration, or heat can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids. 

Prevention/Dealing with Dizziness 

To help make life easier when dealing with ongoing dizziness or conditions that bring it on, you can follow these tips;

  • If your dizziness is resulting from overheating or dehydration, make sure to rest in a cool place and drink plenty of water.
  • Eating a well-balanced diet of lean proteins, vegetables, and fruits prevents dizziness.
  • Exercises and activities that improve balance, such as yoga, can help with dizziness.
  • For those with chronic conditions that cause balancing difficulty, it is advised to use a cane or walker for stability.
  • When you are feeling dizzy, sit down immediately and rest to prevent you from losing balance and falling, resulting in injury.

FAQ

  1. Are Vertigo and dizziness the same thing? Dizziness is considered a general term used to describe unsteadiness, lightheadedness, and giddiness. Vertigo is a sense of motion felt when the body is at rest. It is a sensation of spinning when being still. 
  2. Is dizziness common? Dizziness is very common for those at the age of 65 and over. It is the second most complained about symptom to physicians. The first is backache.
  3. Does everyone experience dizziness the same? Unfortunately, it is not the same for everyone. Some may feel faint, while others feel more lightheaded. Some people describe it as a sensation as if they are moving, and others don’t.  

Healthier Me Today is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment. Always consult with your healthcare professional. Stay healthy!

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