Why Do I Feel Dizzy?

Information on the causes and signs of dizziness.

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  1. What is Dizziness?
  2. What Causes Dizziness?
  3. More Information on Dizziness

What is Dizziness?

Dizzy is the term used to describe feeling lightheaded, woozy, unsteady or disoriented. These feelings can take different forms, such as spinning sensation (vertigo), feeling off-balance (disequilibrium) and feeling faint (pre-syncope).

Dizziness isn’t a disease, but rather a symptom of some other condition. Many parts of the body work together to help us feel balanced: the brain, eyes, inner ear and nervous system. When something goes wrong in any of those areas, it can cause unsteadiness and wooziness.

Many different things can cause some people to experience these feelings, including dehydration, a drop in blood pressure, or inner ear problems. Getting up too quickly from sitting or lying down is another common culprit. Some prescription medications list dizziness as a side effect.

Occasional wooziness is common and usually not serious. It often gets better by itself. If you experience these spells frequently, or if the feeling lasts for a long time, seek medical advice.

Symptoms of Dizziness

When people say they are feeling dizzy, they mean they are experiencing some or all of the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Feeling faint
  • Sensation that the room is spinning
  • Loss of balance

If you experience nausea, vomiting or fainting along with any of the following symptoms, you may need immediate medical attention:

  • Head injury
  • Headache
  • Neck ache
  • Blurry vision
  • High fever
  • Continued vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Drooping or sagging of eye or mouth
  • Tingling sensation
  • Trouble speaking
  • Loss of hearing
  • Change in heart rate

What Causes Dizziness?

Vertigo is commonly associated with standing or sitting up too quickly, called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPV, as well as inner ear infections and motion sickness.

There are a number of other possible medical triggers:

  • Meniere’s Disease
  • Migraines
  • Very high blood pressure or low blood pressure
  • Anemia
  • Heart failure, heart attack and other heart disease, including arrhythmias or arteriosclerosis
  • Acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor on the nerve of the inner ear
  • Fainting (syncope)
  • Dehydration
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Anemia (low iron)
  • Heat stroke
  • Hyperventilation and/or panic attacks
  • Side effect for certain medications
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
  • Excessive exercise
  • Fever and infections
  • Alcohol consumption

Rarely, the cause may be a serious condition like multiple sclerosis, a malignant brain tumor or other brain disorder.

Balance Tests

Your doctor may recommend balance testing if you’re frequently feeling unsteady on your feet. Balance tests are a series of tests used to determine if someone has a balance disorder. Balance testing can be done by your primary care physician or an ear specialist such as an audiologist or otolaryngologist (ENT) who focuses on the ear, nose and throat.

More Information on Dizziness

More Information on Dizziness:

Feeling woozy can be upsetting and disorientating, and it can lead to serious falls or injuries. If the underlying cause is left untreated, it can be potentially dangerous. Consider the following if you feel lightheaded or nauseous:

  • Sit or lie down immediately to avoid loss of balance or falling.
  • Do not drive or participate in hazardous activities such as operating any dangerous machinery or climbing a step-ladder.
  • Avoid caffeine, nicotine, salt and alcohol because they restrict blood flow and may worsen symptoms.
  • Avoid sudden head movements and position changes by standing or sitting up slowly.
  • Seek medical attention if the feelings are unexplained and persistent.
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours per night.
  • Do activities focuse on balance, like yoga.
  • Eat a healthful diet full of fruits, vegetables and proteins.
  • If you think you’re experiencing side effects of a medication, talk to your doctor.
  • If you feel overheated or dehydrated, drink water, cool down and rest.
  • Over-the-counter medications like meclizine or an antihistamine can soothe feelings of nausea from vertigo. Use caution, since side effects can include extreme drowsiness.
  • Use a cane or walker for extra stability if needed.
  • Always use handrails when using a staircase.

Natural medicine for dizziness and nausea, like VertiFree™ Tablets for Common Vertigo Symptoms, can help relieve feelings of lightheadedness, disorientation and unsteadiness.

 

The content provided is for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have a health condition, please consult a medical professional and do not use this information to self-diagnose or self-treat.
 
Reviewed by Master Herbalist, Mary Ellen Kosanke
 

References:

  1. “Dizziness and Vertigo.” Medline Plus. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://medlineplus.gov/dizzinessandvertigo.html
  2. Gabbey, Amber. “What Causes Dizziness and How to Treat It.” Healthline. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/dizziness
  3. “Why Am I Dizzy?” WebMD. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.webmd.com/brain/dizziness-vertigo#1
  4. “Dizziness.” Mayo Clinic. Accessed February 3, 2020. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dizziness/symptoms-causes/syc-20371787