By Pierre Mouchette | Bits-n-Pieces
Dizziness is a familiar sensation, with as many as 1 in 5 adults experiencing it yearly. Most of the time, dizziness goes away without specific treatment. But, if your dizziness does not improve or you have other health conditions, it could be a sign that something else is happening.
Kinds of dizziness
It is common to feel dizzy occasionally, which happens for various reasons. But even though you have felt dizzy at some point, it could be hard to describe precisely how you feel. Dizziness is a compound word that people use to refer to various feelings and sensations. But those symptoms can have many different causes.
In general, there are four causes of dizziness:
Usual causes of dizziness
Just as you might feel different kinds of dizziness, there can be various causes for the same symptoms. So, you cannot rely on the type of dizziness to give a conclusive answer to the reason. But some common causes and patterns help to start.
Vertigo usually happens because something is inflamed or off-balance in the inner part of the ear. Sometimes that spinning sensation happens with certain kinds of migraine headaches. A tumor, injury, or stroke in some brain parts can cause it, but they are less common causes. Usually, vertigo happens because of conditions like:
An off-balance feeling often means something is happening in the nerves or brain. It includes information from your senses, especially vision, and touch. Causes can include:
There are several common reasons to have a vasovagal episode. It is when a sudden change in blood pressure causes you to faint (syncope) or almost faint (presyncope). It could happen if you are dehydrated, pregnant, sick, or unexpectedly stressed out.
But there are several more severe causes of presyncope and syncope, such as:
Occasionally dizziness is hard to explain, especially when you feel lightheaded or disconnected from your body. Some people state this as feeling woozy or just not quite right.
Some other causes of dizziness can include:
What to do if you feel dizzy?
If you are feeling dizzy or unsteady on your feet, find somewhere safe to sit or lay down. Avoid abrupt movements and position shifts. Falls are risky, particularly for older adults and people doing high-risk work or recreational activities.
Once you are in a safe place, there are several things you can do:
When to speak to a healthcare provider about dizziness
Some symptoms go along with dizziness that needs medical attention immediately. Get help if you are experiencing dizziness along with the following:
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