In this Health Article:
- What Causes Dizziness?
- What Are the Types of Dizziness?
- What Are the Symptoms of Dizziness?
- What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Dizziness?
- What Are the Treatments Available for Dizziness?
- How Do You Cope Up with Dizziness?
- What Are the Ways to Prevent Dizziness?
- Self Care – The Bottom Line to Lower Your Dizziness
IntroductionDizziness is a symptom of balance disorder. It is a collective description of different feelings like lightheadedness, floating, woozy, giddy, confused, helpless or fuzzy. Vertigo, disequilibrium and pre-syncope are some of the technical terms of dizziness.
What Causes Dizziness?A number of factors attribute to dizziness. Lightheadedness happens when there is not enough blood getting to the brain. This might happen if there is sudden drop in your blood pressure or you are dehydrated from vomiting, diarrhea, fever or other causes. As people get aged, they experience lightheadedness if they wake up too quickly from a lying or seated position. Flu, hypoglycemia, common cold or allergies also cause dizziness. Other serious conditions that cause dizziness include, heart problems like heart attack, arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms), weakened, aged or diseased heart muscle or drugs affecting the rate of the force of the heart.
Vertigo, the false sense of spinning or motion, results from imbalance of the nerves in your inner ear (vestibular system). Common causes of vertigo are benign positional vertigo and labyrinthitis. Medications like sedatives, blood pressure medications, tranquilizers, antidepressants, pain relievers, diuretics and some antibiotics also cause dizziness. Metabolic disorders like hypoxia, low blood sugar and dehydration also contribute to dizziness. Other illness such as internal bleeding or hemorrhage, anemia, prolonged bed rest causing weakness and loss of ability to compensate for assuming upright position, infection and endocrine diseases also cause dizziness. Psychiatric reasons such as depression, anxiety or panic disorder, hyperventilation, somatization play major role in the developing dizziness.
What Are the Types of Dizziness?
Vertigo: People with vertigo may feel that they are moving or that the surrounding is moving while they remain still. Vertigo mostly occurs when a person is standing though it occurs in a sitting, lying down, or changing position. People with vertigo may also have nausea, sometimes with vomiting, and abnormal jerky eye movements (nystagmus).
Lightheadedness: It is a feeling of fainting. Light-headedness usually occurs when a person gets up quickly after sitting or lying down for a while. When blood vessels in the brain become dilated, or expand, due to high temperature, excitement or hyperventilation, alcohol consumption, or prescription medications such as antidepressants, a person can become lightheaded. There can also be more serious causes, such as a stroke and heart disease.
Disequilibrium: Disequilibrium is a sense of unsteadiness or loss of balance that involves the legs or trunk. Disequilibrium may occur while a person is standing or walking. Disorders that can disequilibrium include arthritis in the neck called cervical spondolysis, which puts pressure in the spinal cord; Parkinson’s disease or related disorder that cause a person to stoop forward, disorders involving a part of the brain called the cerebellum, and disease like diabetes that can lead to loss of sensation in the legs.
Anxiety: Some people have phobias. They are scared, worried, depressed or afraid of open spaces. They often use the word dizzy to mean frightened, depressed or anxious.
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What Are the Symptoms of Dizziness?Loss of balance, nausea, unsteadiness, wooziness, lightheadedness, faintness, weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentration, blurred vision during quick head movements and a feeling that surrounding is moving or spinning when you are still are certain characteristics of dizziness. Consult your doctor if you experience any unexplained, recurrent or severe dizziness. Call 911 or go to the emergency room if you experience dizziness or vertigo along with head injury, a new, different or severe headache, fever higher than 101 F, very stiff neck, hearing loss, speech impairment, leg or arm weakness, loss of consciousness, falling or difficulty walking, numbness or tingling, chest pain or rapid or slow heart rate.
What Are the Diagnosis & Tests for Dizziness?Based on your reports on the symptoms doctor performs a physical exam, focusing on your heart, head, ears and nervous system. He/She then conducts an interview asking question that clears their doubt on your symptoms. Based on your answers, you will be asked to take diagnostic tests like blood pressure measurements, ECG, Hearing tests, Neurological tests, Balance testing (ENG), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Postugraphy testing, Rotating chair testing and Eye movement testing.
What Are the Treatments Available for Dizziness?Treatment for dizziness depends on the cause of the patient’s dizziness. Emergency treatment is started for heart attack, or stroke, emergency blood transfusion or surgery. Medications are given to control fever or treat infection. Canalith repositioning is done for BPPV, a simple procedure that involves your doctor maneuvering the position of your head. Balancing exercises are given to treat vestibular neuronitis or labyrinthitis. For anxiety disorder, medication or psychotherapy is prescribed. Your doctor will recommend treatment of an existing disease or disorder that may be causing or contributing to your dizziness, such as ear infection, stroke, heart problems or multiple sclerosis.
How Do You Cope Up with Dizziness?You are not alone. Almost everyone experience dizziness once in their life time. Use these tips to cope with dizziness.
- Talk to a doctor about your dizziness.
- Feel relaxed and have plenty of rest
- Keep your mind relaxed
What Are the Ways to Prevent Dizziness?Dizziness is neither predictable nor preventable. However, there are some guidelines which help you manage the condition. Some of them include
- If reading while traveling creates motion sickness, try avoiding it in the next trip.
- Relaxation techniques can help ward tension and anxiety that can cause dizziness.
- Changes to the diet can also cut down on episodes of dizziness.
- People with menier’s disease may avoid episodes of vertigo by cutting salt, alcohol and caffeine out of their diets.
- Reducing blood cholesterol can help diminish arteriosclerosis and indirectly treat dizziness.
Self Care – The Bottom Line to Lower Your DizzinessHere are few simple, effective dizziness self-care tips that can reduce diabetes breakouts and control future breakouts.
- Dizziness is always a symptom of danger and it is better to consult the doctor immediately.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Have regular meals.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Practice relaxation by yoga or meditation.