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Dizziness: Definition, symptoms, causes & treatment

Team AckoJan 23, 2023

Do you often feel lightheaded and dizzy? Whether it is occasional or chronic, it's vital to understand what may be causing it. This article will give you an overview of Dizziness, including how to prevent it and how to get relief. Read on for more information, so that you can find relief and get back to feeling your best!

dizziness

Contents

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What is Dizziness?

Dizziness is a feeling of lightheadedness, wooziness, or the sensation of spinning or moving within your surroundings. It is not a symptom itself but rather a group of symptoms characteristic of various conditions. Dizziness can affect your coordination, equilibrium, and balance and may cause physical difficulties such as fainting or nausea.

Signs of Dizziness

Here is a rundown of some of the common symptoms of Dizziness.

  • Feeling faint or lightheaded

  • Vertigo or a sense of spinning

  • Loss of balance or unsteadiness

  • Blurred vision and/or double vision

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Headache

  • Sweating or feeling overheated

  • Ringing in ears

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Difficulty speaking or slurred speech

Causes of Dizziness

There are numerous causes of Dizziness, which can include medical issues and lifestyle factors.

  • Inner-ear dysfunction: Conditions that affect the inner ear, such as vertigo, vestibular neuritis, labyrinthitis and Meniere's disease, can all cause episodes of Dizziness and spinning sensations.

  • Cardiovascular conditions: Conditions such as anaemia, low blood pressure, and heart arrhythmias can all lead to Dizziness and fatigue.

  • Neurological conditions: Brain tumours, stroke and multiple sclerosis can cause disturbances in the brain's functioning, which can lead to feelings of Dizziness and vertigo.

  • Medications: Certain medications used to treat anxiety, depression, and blood pressure can cause the side effects of Dizziness.

  • Dehydration: A lack of water and electrolytes can lead to feelings of Dizziness.

  • Anxiety and stress: These can cause physical symptoms such as Dizziness, trembling, and nausea.

  • Inadequate nutrition: Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can result in feelings of lightheadedness and Dizziness.

Apart from these, certain health conditions, such as diabetes and thyroid disorders, can also lead to feelings of Dizziness.

Types of Dizziness

Dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness or losing balance, which can be either a symptom of an underlying condition or a temporary episode. Common types of this condition include vertigo, presyncope, disequilibrium and lightheadedness.

1. Vertigo

It is a type of Dizziness accompanied by a sensation of spinning or rotating, even when you are not actually moving. It is most commonly linked to neurological problems that are caused by changes in the inner ear or the brain. Symptoms of vertigo usually include nausea and vomiting, hearing loss and a sensation of movement in one or both ears.

2. Presyncope

It is a feeling of Dizziness and fainting without actually passing out. It is usually caused by dehydration, low blood pressure, or by standing for long periods of time. Symptoms of presyncope may include lightheadedness, blurred vision, sweating, nausea, and a feeling of unsteadiness.

3. Disequilibrium

It is caused by disturbed balance or inner ear damage. It can also be caused by an inner ear infection, stroke, or inflammation of the balance nerve fibres. Symptoms of disequilibrium include lightheadedness, a feeling of unsteadiness or swaying, or a sensation of spinning.

4. Lightheadedness

It is a feeling of Dizziness and faintness that is not caused by any underlying condition. It is usually caused by standing or sitting up too quickly, dehydration, or low blood pressure. Symptoms of lightheadedness may include feeling faint, a sensation of spinning, or a feeling that the ground is shifting beneath you.

5. Diagnosis of Dizziness

To diagnose the cause of the Dizziness, the doctor may ask about the type of sensation being experienced and the duration, frequency, and severity of the episodes. They might also ask about symptoms that may be associated with the Dizziness, such as headache, fatigue, nausea, vision problems, sweating, hearing problems, chest pain, or rapid heartbeat.

It is important to mention any recent illnesses, medications, or past conditions that may be related to the episodes of Dizziness. The doctor may also want to know about any dietary changes, alcohol or tobacco intake, and any recreational drugs that are being used.

During the physical examination, the doctor will check for signs of infection, evaluate vision and balance, and test reflexes, muscle strength, and coordination. They may also check the patient's blood pressure and heart rate.

If further testing is needed, the doctor may order blood tests, an electrocardiogram (ECG), an imaging study such as an MRI or CT scan, an audiogram, an oculomotor exam, or other tests. The doctor may refer the patient to a specialist, such as a neurologist or an ear, nose, and throat specialist.

Once the cause of the Dizziness has been identified, treatment will be recommended. Depending on the cause, it may involve medications, lifestyle modifications, a physical therapy regimen, or a combination of these approaches. Follow-up tests may also be recommended to monitor any changes in condition.

Different treatments for Dizziness

Here is a list of some of the treatment options you can count on to get rid of Dizziness.

  1. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT): VRT is an exercise-based program designed to reduce symptoms of Dizziness caused by inner-ear dysfunction. This therapy involves activities such as performing eye movements, using balance boards or platforms and walking on a treadmill.

  2. Diet modification: Eating a diet that's low in salt and cholesterol, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine, and cutting back on alcohol can help reduce symptoms of Dizziness.

  3. Medication: Depending on the cause, a doctor may prescribe medications such as antihistamines, anti-anxiety medications, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, or anticonvulsants.

  4. Herbal therapy: Herbal remedies such as Ginkgo Biloba, ginger, and ginseng have been used to treat symptoms of Dizziness.

  5. Acupuncture: This practice involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin at specific points of the body to promote healing.

  6. Lifestyle changes: Making certain lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress, getting enough sleep, avoiding triggers that can cause Dizziness, and exercising regularly, can help relieve symptoms.

Frequently asked questions

Here is a rundown of some common questions with answers related to Dizziness.

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Is Dizziness a neurological problem?

Dizziness can be a neurological problem, but other issues, such as low blood sugar, dehydration, inner ear problems, medication side effects, and other causes, can also cause it. Therefore, a diagnosis is necessary to determine the exact cause of the Dizziness.

What part of the body controls Dizziness?

Dizziness is controlled by the brain and the inner ear. The brain is responsible for interpreting signals from the inner ear, which helps the body maintain balance and spatial orientation. When these signals become distorted or confused, it can result in Dizziness.

What other conditions can cause Dizziness?

Anaemia, dehydration, heart problems, thyroid problems, and some types of headaches can all cause Dizziness. In some cases, this condition can be caused by psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression.

What can I do to relieve Dizziness?

If your Dizziness is caused by low blood sugar or dehydration, eating or drinking something sugary or salty can help. You can also try lying down and closing your eyes, or focusing on a distant object. If your condition is caused by an inner ear problem, a doctor may prescribe medication or antibiotic therapy.

How would you know if Dizziness is serious?

If you experience any of the following signs that are more severe or lasting, it may be a sign that something more serious is going on and it is important to seek medical attention.

  • Dizziness that persists for more than 24 hours

  • Vertigo (a sensation of spinning)

  • Headaches

  • Vision changes

  • Severe or sudden nausea

  • Difficulty walking or talking

  • Unusual sweating

  • Loss of consciousness or fainting

Can stress cause Dizziness?

Yes, stress can cause Dizziness. Under stress, the human body produces hormones such as adrenaline, which can affect balance and lead to Dizziness. Other potential causes of Dizziness include dehydration, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, and certain medications.

How many days can Dizziness last?

It depends on the cause. Some causes, such as dehydration or low blood sugar, can be easily remedied. However, if the cause is related to an underlying medical condition, it can last for days or weeks. If the condition persists for more than a few days, it is important to consult a physician.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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