Dizziness is a blanket term used to describe the sensation of unsteadiness. You may feel weak, faint, or have the perception that your surroundings are moving, sort of like the room is spinning even when there is no actual movement. It’s a common symptom that can be the result of many different underlying causes. It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing dizziness, as it may be a sign of a more serious disease.
“It’s important to seek medical attention if you are experiencing dizziness, as it may be a sign of a more serious disease.”
A person experiencing dizziness will describe different sensations, depending on the cause. There can be the feeling of near fainting or lightheadedness, or the false sense that the surrounding environment is moving. A loss of equilibrium – unsteadiness, feeling off-balance – is another common symptom. You may also feel confused, disoriented, or have the sensation of floating.
Dizziness occurs whenever the brain receives false signals from the body’s balance and sensory systems; these can originate from the inner ear, eyes, or sensory nerves. Your brain senses movement that is not occurring, making you feel dizzy. One of the most common causes is low blood pressure; when this occurs, the brain isn’t receiving enough oxygen-rich blood, limiting its functionality. Anemia, bleeding, dehydration, heat-related disorders, and certain medications (i.e. beta blockers or nitroglycerin) can all lead to low blood pressure.
Other conditions that may lead to bouts of dizziness include hypotension (a lack of blood to the head when rising from a lying position), high blood pressure, diseases of the endocrine system (diabetes, Thyroid disease, Addison’s disease), hyperventilation, heart conditions, and overstimulation of the vagus nerve.
When considering treatment for dizziness, remember that it is a symptom and not a disease; the underlying cause must be targeted in order to successfully treat it. With such a large number of potential triggers, you’ll need a physical examination and may require specialized diagnostic testing in order to properly diagnose the cause. Medication, physical and occupational therapy, vestibular rehabilitation, surgery, and lifestyle modifications are all possible treatment choices, depending on the underlying condition.