Dizziness

Introduction

Dizziness is a common condition characterized by a brief inability to orient oneself. Individuals who suffer from dizziness often experience disequilibrium or a sense of being off-balance. If you have short periods of instability, occasionally feel faint or in danger of falling, you may be suffering from dizziness.

What is Dizziness?

Dizziness generally describes two types of spatial disorientation. The first type is defined by perceiving surrounding objects as if they are spinning or in motion, and the second describes when an individual is feeling faint or light-headed. These forms of dizziness have different causes and treatment, so it’s important to recognize how they differ. The medical term Vertigo generally describes the former condition.

The Causes of Dizziness

Dizziness is not a disease but a common carryover effect of other medical issues. There is no specific source that directly causes dizziness. However, it can be linked to various common ailments such as migraines and tension headaches. It is common to experience dizziness when taking certain medications or after consuming alcohol. Drops in blood pressure or blood volume, low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), dehydration, heat stroke, ear infection, and low iron (anemia), and accumulation of fluid in the ear can precipitate symptoms of dizziness. Sudden moments of disequilibrium such as sitting down or standing up too quickly can also result in dizziness.

The Symptoms of Dizziness

Symptoms of dizziness can range from mild to severe depending on the underlying cause or the condition it accompanies. Symptoms include, but are not limited to unsteadiness and loss of balance, lightheadedness, motion sickness, and feeling as though you are woozy or floating. Patients with severe cases of dizziness may suffer from nausea or vomiting. On its own, dizziness is quite common and most individuals only experience them briefly. You should contact your health care provider immediately if you experience dizziness repeatedly or with serious injuries such as hearing loss, chest pain, vomiting, or a head injury.

The Treatment of Dizziness

As dizziness is not a disease, treatment for the issue primarily focuses on fixing the underlying cause. Dizziness caused by migraines and headaches is generally managed by taking pain medicine. Dizziness due to heatstroke or dehydration can be resolved by drinking water or other hydrating fluids. Vertigo-related dizziness such as dizziness brought about by Benign Positional Vertigo (BPV) is not curable. However, certain activities such as yoga have been known to help improve balance and assuage symptoms. If you suffer from frequent bouts of dizziness, you should find a safe place to lie down or rest until the symptoms pass. Maneuvering while dizzy or unbalanced increases your chance of falling and injuring yourself.

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