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Dizziness
Overview

Feeling dizzy is never a good thing. You may feel dizzy for a number of reasons. There are a two different types of dizziness including; lightheadedness and vertigo. When you are lightheaded, you may feel very weak like you might pass out. When you have vertigo, the room feels like it is moving or spinning. You may also experience a loss of balance. Most of the time, dizziness is only temporary and goes away by itself. Some cases may signal something more serious. If you are dizzy for the first time and it came on suddenly, you should seek medical attention. This article will help you understand dizziness and how it is treated.

Causes of Dizziness

When you feel lightheaded, the causes include:
Lack of blood flow to the brain

Low blood pressure

Standing up to fast

Viral infections

Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)

Allergies

Stroke

Heart conditions (irregular heartbeats or heart attack)

Hemorrhage

Shock

Vertigo is usually caused by:
Inner ear infections

Medications

Benign Positional Vertigo

Meniere’s Disease

Stroke

Multiple Sclerosis

Brain hemorrhage

Seizures

Brain Tumor

Symptoms of Dizziness

Dizziness can have a few different symptoms including:
Feeling like the room is spinning or like you are moving when you are still

Feeling lightheaded like you are going to pass out

The sensation of floating or like you are in the water

Heavy feeling

Unable to keep your balance

Dizziness can also make you feel nauseous and you may vomit. Also, when you have vertigo your eyes may move back and forth quickly. This is a condition known as “nystagmus.”

Risk Factors for Dizziness

Anyone can get dizzy, for any reason, at any time. However, there are certain things that raise the risk for dizziness such as:
Starting New Medications. There are certain medications that can cause dizziness, especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position. These include; seizure medications, sedative medications, blood pressure medications, and even some antibiotics. This is actually a pretty common side-effect, so check with your doctor if a medication is making you dizzy.
Heat. If the weather is hot and you are not taking enough fluids, you raise the risk for feeling lightheaded. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids in the heat or during exercise.
Medical Conditions. Some migraine sufferers experience dizziness from time to time. Also, people who have electrolyte imbalances may feel dizzy. People with respiratory conditions may feel dizzy or lightheaded if they are not getting enough oxygen and people with heart conditions may feel lightheaded or have dizziness if there is not enough blood flow to the brain.
Age Over 65. Medications or conditions in older people can raise the risk of dizziness. This also increases the risk of falls in the elderly.
Previous dizziness. If you have been dizzy or fainted in the past, you have a higher risk of dizziness.

Diagnosing Dizziness

If you are feeling dizzy, see your doctor for an evaluation. The following tests can help the doctor find the cause of your dizziness:
Rotary Chair Test. The doctor will have you sit in a chair that turns in a circle at slow speeds. It then begins to move back and forth quickly.
Posturography Test. You will be barefoot and stand on a flat surface. The surface will move and you try to stay upright and balanced. This helps the doctor find what is causing you to lose balance.
Eye Movement Test. The doctor will move and object back and forth in front of your eyes to see how well you can track the object. They may inject water that is both cold and then warm into your ear canal to see how your eyes react.
Your doctor may also choose to order an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) Test to check your brain and head. This checks for tumors in the brain or problems in the ear canals.

Treatment for Dizziness

Treatments for dizziness depend on what is causing the issue. The following may be tried:
Changing or stopping an offending medication

Antihistamine medications

Sedative medication

Anti-nausea medication

Surgery to correct any inner ear problems

Treatments will also be aimed at getting any underlying health conditions under control that are causing the dizziness.

Lifestyle Changes for Dizziness

If you are suffering from dizziness, you should take the following measures to prevent falling or fainting:
Get up slowly from sitting or lying down

Do not change your posture suddenly

Use a cane when walking if you have balance problems

Hold on to something while standing up

If you are dizzy, do not drive or move too much

Avoid watching TV, riding in moving vehicles, and keep lights low

Alternative Medicine for Dizziness

If your doctor cannot find any medical cause for your dizziness, check to see if it is okay to try alternative medicine. Herbal remedies can have drug interactions and side effects. Some herbal remedies include:
Ginger. Ginger is known to help tummy trouble, but it can also help you if you’re feeling dizzy. It can increase blood circulation in your body, and lower high blood pressure. There is a drug interaction with medications that thin your blood.
Black Cohosh. Black cohosh is a “nervine.” These drugs can help calm the nervous system and reduce vertigo type dizziness, especially woman in menopause. This should never be used if you are pregnant.
Ginkgo. Ginkgo biloba increases the blood flow to the brain. It can help reduce dizziness, improve thinking, and help you sleep. This herb should not be used with medications that thin the blood.

Prevention of Dizziness

If you suffer from dizziness, there are a few things you can do to prevent dizzy spells including:
Drink plenty of fluids when you are sick or out in the heat

Keep track of your blood pressure with a home monitor

Use ear plugs when swimming or bathing to prevent fluid build-up in the ears

Eat a snack between meals to prevent low blood sugar levels

Avoid spinning rides at amusement parks