Dizziness is one of the most common reasons adults come to the doctor, over chest pain and fatigue. Frequent dizziness affects a lot of things, rarely signals a serious threat.
Dizziness is a term used to describe everything from feeling blurred or dizzy to feeling weak or unsteady. Dizziness creates the feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving.
Dizziness is one of the most common reasons adults come to the doctor, over chest pain and fatigue. Frequent dizziness affects a lot of things, rarely signals a serious threat. Treatment for dizziness depends on the cause and symptoms but is often effective.
Four types of dizziness
Dizziness can often be more specifically described as one of the following sensations:
False sense of motion.
Feeling close to fainting.
Other sensations such as floating, swimming, or head heaviness.
Several underlying health problems can cause these problems. Some of these problems disrupt or confuse the signals the brain receives from one or more sensory systems, including:
Eyes, which help determine where the body is and move through space.
Sensory nerves send messages to the brain about movement and body position.
The in-ear gravity sensor detects and responds to motion.
See your doctor if you experience any problems, recurrences, or severe unexplained dizziness.
Call emergency if you experience dizziness or lightheadedness along with the following:
Significant head injury.
Severe headache or new changes.
Fever higher than 38.30C.
Sudden loss of hearing.
Hard to say.
Weak legs or arms.
Loss of consciousness.
Falling or having difficulty walking.
Chest pain or a fast or slow heartbeat.
Features of feeling dizzy, such as vertigo - a feeling of lightheadedness or loss of balance, provide clues to possible causes.
Dizziness usually results from a problem with the nerves and structures of the balance mechanism in the inner ear (vestibular system) that sense movement and change in head position. Sitting up or moving around can make it worse. Sometimes the dizziness is severe enough to cause nausea, vomiting, and loss of balance.
Causes of dizziness may include:
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo causes tension, dizziness immediately following a change in head position, often when sitting up in bed or sitting up in the morning. BBPV is the most common cause of vertigo.
Inflammation of the inner ear. Signs and symptoms of otitis media (acute vestibular neuritis) include the spontaneous onset of frequent, intense dizziness, which may persist for several days with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. balance. May require bed rest. When combined with sudden hearing loss, the condition is called an inner ear infection. Fortunately, vestibular neuritis generally subsides and resolves on its own.
Meniere's disease. This disease is related to the accumulation of too much fluid in the inner ear. This is a common condition that can affect adults of all ages and is characterized by a sudden bout of dizziness lasting 30 minutes to several hours.
Migrainous Dizziness. Migraine rather than headache. Some people experience aura with a migraine, others may be dizzy and have other types of dizziness in the middle of a migraine.
Acoustic neuroma. Auditory neuromas are benign, growing on the vestibular nerve, which connects the inner ear to the brain. Symptoms generally include progressive hearing loss and unilateral tinnitus with dizziness or loss of balance.
Other causes. Rarely, dizziness can be a symptom of a more serious neurological problem such as a stroke, brain hemorrhage, or multiple sclerosis. In this case, other neurological symptoms such as double vision, difficulty speaking, weakness or numbness in the face, severe coordination or balance problems.
A feeling of lightheadedness - ecstasy - near fainting (presyncope)
Near fainting is the medical term for the feeling of blurred vision and lightheadedness without loss of consciousness. Sometimes nausea, pale skin accompanied by a feeling of almost fainting.
Causes of near-syncope include:
Postural blood pressure reduction. A significant drop in systolic blood pressure can cause irritability or a feeling of lightheadedness. It can happen after sitting up or getting up too quickly.
Insufficient blood flow from the heart. Any cardiomyopathy, abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), or decreased blood volume can cause insufficient blood flow.
Loss of balance or feeling unsteady while walking. Causes may include:
Problems inside the ear (vestibular). Inner ear abnormalities may feel unsteady while walking, especially in the dark.
Sensory disturbances. Peripheral nerve damage is common in the elderly and can make it difficult to maintain sensation.
Inflammation and muscle problems. Weak muscles and osteoarthritis, the wear-and-tear arthritis of the joints can contribute to imbalance as it relates to the weight the joints bear.
Nervous problem. Neurological disorders can lead to imbalance, including Parkinson's disease, cerebellar ataxia, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and spinal cord disorders.
Medicine. Imbalance can be a side effect of certain medications, such as antiepileptic drugs and tranquilizers.
Dizziness sensations such as floating, swimming, or head heaviness.
Descriptive sensations that can be difficult include a spinning sensation in the head. Some causes include:
Medicine. Antihypertensives can cause dizziness if blood pressure drops too much. Many other drugs can cause a feeling of dizziness that is nonspecific and resolves with the discontinuation of the drug.
Inner ear disorders. Certain abnormalities in the inner ear can cause intermittent dizziness.
Anxiety disorders. Some anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks and panic attacks, can cause dizziness. Sometimes one of the causes, such as a vestibular disorder, can trigger symptoms, but the anxiety that causes dizziness persists even after the problem inside the ear has resolved.
Dizziness can increase your risk of falling and injuring yourself. Dizziness while driving or operating heavy machinery can increase the chance of an accident. There can also be long-term consequences if an existing health condition that can cause dizziness is left untreated.
Testing and diagnosis
Doctors can often determine the cause of dizziness. To determine what is causing the symptoms, you may ask to turn your head back or lie down so the doctors can observe.
Vestibular exams and tests may be needed, including:
Eye movement test. Your doctor may check your eyes while watching a moving object. In it, eye movements are observed when cold and warm water is introduced into the ear canal.
Postural control test. This test tells your doctor which parts of the balance system rely on the most and which may be causing problems. Stand with your feet on the floor and try to balance in different conditions.
Test the swivel chair. In this test, sit in a circular motion control chair.
In some cases, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be needed. This technique uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of the head and body. Doctors can use detailed images to identify and diagnose a wide range of problems. An MRI may be done to rule out auditory neuroma - a benign brain tumor of the vestibular nerve - that carries sound from the inner ear to the brain, or other abnormalities in the brain that may be the cause of the dizziness. face.
Even if not found or if dizziness persists, prescription medications and treatment of other symptoms can make them more manageable.
Treatments and drugs
Doctors treat dizziness based on the cause and symptoms.
Benign dizziness. Treatment of benign dizziness with vestibular rehabilitation repositioning, a simple procedure in which physical therapy positions the head. This procedure is usually effective after one or two courses of treatment.
Inner ear problem. Vestibular rehabilitation is used to treat acute vestibular nerve disorders or inner ear vestibular dysfunction. These are exercises from physical or occupational therapy and then do at home. To provide direct treatment for nausea and dizziness, your doctor may prescribe medications such as meclizine and diazepam or may prescribe dimenhydrinate. Short-term corticosteroids may improve vestibular function.
Meniere's disease. Treatment of Meniere's disease involves maintaining body fluids through the use of diuretics and frequent dietary changes, such as a low-salt diet. Sometimes surgery is an option.
Migrainous Dizziness. To combat the dizziness associated with vestibular migraines, your doctor will try to help identify and avoid triggering episodes of dizziness, focusing on diet, stress reduction, sleep, and exercise. Certain medications can help prevent migraines or make them less uncomfortable by providing relief from nausea and vomiting. Specific exercises can also be learned to help make the balance system less sensitive to movement (vestibular rehabilitation).
Anxiety disorders. Your doctor may recommend medication and psychology, either alone or in combination, to help cope with anxiety and manage dizziness.
Lifestyle and remedies
If you experience dizziness, consider these tips:
Be aware of the potential for an imbalance, which can lead to falls and serious injury.
Prevent falls by eliminating tripping hazards.
Sit or lie down immediately when feeling dizzy.
Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery if dizziness is frequent.
Use good lighting if getting out of bed at night.
Walking with a cane helps with stability.
Avoid coffee, alcohol, and tobacco. Using too much of these substances can constrict blood vessels, making signs and symptoms worse.
Work closely with your doctor to manage your symptoms effectively.