Dizziness is a condition in which a patient feels lightheaded, nauseous, motion sick, & unbalanced overall. Dizziness often affects the sensory organs of the body, including the eyes & the ears. Thus, it sometimes causes fainting, loss of balance, & wooziness to the patient affected. Dizziness isn’t a condition on its own; it’s rather a symptom of some underlying disorder.
Dizziness and vertigo are often used interchangeably & confused with one another. Although the two terms mean entirely different things. While dizziness is a generally unstable or woozy feeling, leading a person to feel as if they’re about to faint, vertigo is characterized by a spinning sensation. Vertigo patients feel as if the room around them is moving or that they are spinning around in circles.
Dizziness can be troublesome and annoying, although it is often nothing to worry about. The underlying causes of dizziness are usually quite benign & harmless, & include infections like the cold & the flu, dehydration, &/or feeling generally weak & fatigued.
However, you should visit a doctor &/or your local emergency department if you experience prolonged dizziness or dizziness that occurs suddenly along with some other worrisome signs.
These signs include:
- Fainting or losing consciousness
- Sudden dizziness that occurs with chest pain, trouble breathing, or shallow breathing
- inability to speak or swallow
- Slurred speech
- Facial numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Dizziness accompanied by a high fever, sweating, & chills
- Dizziness along with excessive vomiting & nausea
- Dizziness along with severe stomach cramps or pains
- Dizziness along with memory lapses, delirium, or hallucinations
Symptoms of dizziness:
Most cases of dizziness begin with mild feelings of lightheadedness, wooziness, &/or feeling generally unstable & about to faint. In fact, the inability to maintain your balance & getting woozy are often the first signs of dizziness.
Other common symptoms of dizziness include:
- Feeling that you’re about to faint
- Losing your balance
- Getting lightheaded
- A false sensation of spinning or the feeling as if you’re on a rocking boat or chair
- General unsteadiness and loss of a proper gait
- Feeling like floating or swimming around
Rarely, dizziness can also occur along with nausea, vomiting, & fainting, or losing consciousness. These latter symptoms of dizziness are quite serious and should be evaluated properly by a licensed expert &/or your doctor.
Most cases of dizziness are caused by normal everyday health problems like dehydration, drinking too much alcohol, getting migraine headaches, or overexertion through work or exercise.
Sometimes, inner ear issues can also bring on some early signs of dizziness. Since the inner ear helps maintain the body’s balance & coordination, any malfunctions or problems with it can easily bring on dizziness symptoms & signs.
The most common inner ear disorder which also leads to early signs of dizziness is Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo(BPPV).
BPPV is a common inner ear disorder that is caused by the accidental displacement of tiny calcium crystals inside the middle ear(called otoliths), into the semicircular canal of the inner ear. These crystals are motion-sensitive, meaning that they can sense changes in the head’s position and send out appropriate signals depending on any head movements & changes in its position.
They don’t usually cause any problems with the body’s balance mechanism when they are in their original position inside the middle ear. However, when they get deposited inside the semicircular canal, they incite the hair-like structures on the surface of the canal into sending false balance-related signals to the brain each time the person moves their head in certain directions.
This perception of movement without the presence of any external stimuli is what causes well-known BPPV symptoms like dizziness, spinning sensations, motion sickness, nausea, vomiting, & nystagmus(rapid, abnormal eye movements). BPPV is one of the leading causes of dizziness among adults, although it is sometimes seen in children too. BPPV attacks are also triggered by changes in the position of the head or any specific head movements like standing up too quickly, rolling over in bed, turning your head from one side to another too fast, etc.
Aside from BPPV, other common dizziness causes include:
- Meniere’s Disease: It is an inner ear disorder that is caused by an excessive amount of fluid inside the ear. This fluid causes problems with the functioning of the vestibular system, leading to symptoms like dizziness, tinnitus(a ringing, buzzing, or whistling sound inside the ears), nausea, vomiting, spinning sensations, headaches, & feelings of pressure inside the ears.
- Vestibular Neuritis & labyrinthitis: These are both examples of inner ear infections caused by bacteria or viruses. These cause swelling in specific parts of the inner ear, making it difficult for an efficient exchange of balance-related signals to take place. This causes feelings like dizziness, nausea, earache, hearing loss, spinning sensations, headache, & vomiting in affected individuals.
- A sudden drop in blood pressure, also known as hypovolemia or hypovolemic shock
- Heart muscle disease
- Decrease in the total blood volume
- Anxiety disorders
- Anemia, a condition in which the blood in the body contains low levels of iron
- Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia
- Ear infections
- Heatstroke or heat-related physical exertion
- Excessive & heavy exercise
- Motion sickness
- Anxiety disorders & sudden panic attacks
Dizziness treatment often included dizziness treatment medicines and dizziness exercises. Dizziness treatment medicines include:
- Meclizine tablet, also known as Antivert
- Vertin tablet
- Stemetil tablet
- Stemetil MD tablet
- Stugeron Forte tablet
- Antihistamines like dramamine & diphenhydramine(benadryl), etc.
- Anti-nausea medications
- Anti-anxiety medications to reduce the severity of dizziness occurring due to anxiety disorders
- Motion sickness medicines like TravelEase, etc.
- Migraine medications if dizziness is caused by recurring migraine attacks & severe instances
- Antibiotics & antiviral medications to fight off any bacterial or viral infections that may be causing symptoms of dizziness.
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Dizziness exercises are also recommended for dizziness treatment. These include common vertigo exercises like:
- Canalith repositioning maneuver(Also known as The Epley Maneuver)
- The Brandt-Daroff exercises
- The semont maneuver
- The semont toupet maneuver
- The foster maneuver
- Deep breathing exercises
- Tai chi
- Regular exercises like low-strength cardio, fast-paced walking, jogging, etc.
- Vestibular rehabilitation exercises include in-place walking exercises, in-place marching exercises, blindfolded walking exercises, & walk-with-support exercises to improve balance & coordination. Additionally, these exercises also reduce reliance on the eyes & the ears, the sensory organs of the body, to help affected individuals develop better coping strategies for dealing with their dizziness and vertigo.
Aside from these, keeping yourself hydrated, getting adequate amounts of sleep, & eating a vitamin & mineral-rich, healthy diet are great natural remedies for dizziness and vertigo treatment.