There are a number of possible causes of dizziness. Treatments that are common include lifestyle changes and medications.
Dizziness is the feeling of being off balance. It can cause a lot of dizziness because it is linked to the eyes and ears. Dizziness is a symptom of many disorders.
“It is common. It isn’t something to worry about. If you are experiencing dizziness for a long time or for no apparent reason, you should call a doctor.”
There are a variety of possible causes of dizziness.
Vertigo and disequilibrium
Vertigo and disequilibrium may both cause a feeling of dizziness, but these two terms describe distinct sensations.
Vertigo is characterized by a spinning sensation, like the room is moving. It may also feel like motion sickness or as if you’re leaning to one side.
Disequilibrium is a loss of balance or equilibrium.
A common cause of vertigo and vertigo-related dizziness is benign positional vertigo (BPV). BPV leads to short-term dizziness when someone changes positions quickly, such as sitting up in bed after lying down.
Losing too much fluid can result in dehydration, one of the most common causes of dizziness. Symptoms of dehydration include thirst and dry skin.
Dizziness can also result from a problem in the inner ear, which is the area that senses movement and regulates balance. These problems include Hearing loss.
Dizziness may be linked to certain drugs.
- The muscle relaxants are used.
- anti-seizure drugs
- The drugs antihistamines.
- The blood pressure medications are used.
Other possible causes
Other possible causes of dizziness include:
- Sudden drop in blood pressure: Sudden low blood pressure may be caused by various medical conditions or even from standing up (orthostatic hypotension). It can lead to dizziness and falling, especially in older adults.
- Cardiomyopathy: In this condition, the heart muscles become rigid and weak and pump less blood. Symptoms can include dizziness, fainting, and trouble breathing.
- Heart attack: While There is chest pain. is the most common indicator of a heart attack, dizziness or lightheadedness can also be symptoms. They occur if there’s not enough blood reaching your brain.
- Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia occurs when the heart beats at an atypical pace. It can cause dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath.
- Circulation problems: Cardiomyopathy, heart attack, and other heart conditions can result in circulation problems, where your heart is unable to pump enough blood. This can cause you to feel dizzy.
- Excessive exercise: Overexerting yourself may make you feel dizzy or lightheaded. It can also lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion, which can both cause dizziness.
- Heat exhaustion: If you’re in a hot environment and sweating excessively, you’re likely experiencing heat exhaustion. The condition may make you feel dizzy, thirsty, and weak.
- Decrease in blood volume: Low blood volume can result from bleeding or dehydration. It can cause dizziness, fatigue, and low blood pressure. Learn more about the relationship between dehydration and blood pressure.
- Anxiety disorders: Dizziness may be related to anxiety with no other physical causes. You may have repeated episodes of dizziness.
- Anemia: Anemia is a low red blood cell count. Low levels of iron-rich hemoglobin in your red blood cells mean the cells can’t transport enough oxygen throughout the body. The lack of oxygen caused by anemia may make you feel dizzy, tired, or short of breath.
- Hypoglycemia: Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, can make you feel shaky, lightheaded, or hungry. Severe hypoglycemia is a serious condition that can cause a seizure. Discover other symptoms associated with hypoglycemia.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: If carbon monoxide fumes from cars, grills, or furnaces build up indoors, breathing them in can be fatal. Dizziness, headache, and vomiting are all symptoms.
- Motion sickness: Traveling by car or boat or experiencing other types of motion can give you motion sickness. You may feel dizzy and nauseous.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): Multiple sclerosis (MS) damages the brain and spinal cord. It causes a range of symptoms that can include dizziness.
- Parkinson’s disease: Dizziness is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease, a neurological condition that causes shaking and balance issues. Dizziness may become more noticeable in later stages of Parkinson’s.
- Infections: A variety of infections are associated with dizziness. Examples include:
- COVID-19: You may feel dizziness and vertigo while you have or recover from COVID-19. The dizziness and vertigo may be associated with headaches and A loss of balance..
- Other viral infections: Other viral infections, such as the flu or a cold, may also cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded. These infections may be associated with dehydration as well.
- Ear infection: An ear infection may lead to inflammation in your inner ear, causing dizziness and balance troubles. Ear infections are associated with both bacterial and viral causes.
- Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis: Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis occur when specific nerves in your inner ear become inflamed. Triggers often include viral infections, but they can vary. Bacterial infections are more common in people with labyrinthitis than in people with vestibular neuritis.
People who are dizzy may experience other sensations.
- Lightheadedness or faintness.
- A false sense of movement.
- A loss of balance.
- A feeling of being in the water.
dizziness can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or even faint. If you have these symptoms for a long time, seek emergency medical help.
When to call a doctor about dizziness
If you have a lot of dizziness, you should call a doctor. If you experience sudden dizziness, you should immediately report it to the doctor.
- A head injury.
- A throbbing head.
- The neck is stiff.
- A high temperature.
- blurred vision
- Hearing loss
- There is a ringing in the ears.
- Difficult speaking
- It can be numbness or tingling.
- droopiness of the eye or mouth
- Loss of consciousness.
- There is chest pain.
- heart palpitations or a low heart rate
These symptoms could indicate a serious health problem, so it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. According to a 2021 Swedish study, 5% of people who used emergency services for dizziness had a time-critical medical issue.
If you don’t already have a primary care doctor, the Healthline FindCare tool can help you find a physician in your area.
The underlying cause of dizziness is the focus of treatment. Home remedies and medical treatments can help you manage the underlying cause.
There are treatments for dizziness.
- Vertigo and benign positional vertigo (BPV): BPV, a common cause of vertigo, can often be resolved with the Epley maneuver. This exercise involves turning your head in specific ways to help alleviate symptoms. Surgery is typically not needed, but it’s an option for people who can’t manage their BPV otherwise.
- Meniere’s disease: This condition has no cure, but it may improve with medications, a healthful low-salt diet, antibiotic or corticosteroid injections, or ear surgery.
- Acoustic neuroma: If the tumor grows, you may need radiation or surgery.
- Dehydration: To help treat dehydration, drink plenty of fluids.
- Migraine: Treatment for migraine attacks includes medications and lifestyle changes, such as learning to identify and avoid migraine triggers.
- Alcohol: Drinking less alcohol may help you avoid dizziness from overconsumption.
- Inner ear issues: You may be able to manage inner ear issues with medications or at-home exercises that help you maintain your balance.
- Medications: If medications seem to be causing your dizziness, speak with a doctor about changing your medication or dose.
- Sudden drop in blood pressure: Treatment for sudden low blood pressure depends on the cause or underlying condition, but it may involve adjusting your medications, exercising, or changing positions slowly when standing up.
- Cardiomyopathy: This condition may be improved with medications or lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and eating a heart-healthy diet.
- Heart attack: A heart attack requires emergency treatment, which may include medications, oxygen therapy, or surgery.
- Arrhythmia: Arrhythmia doesn’t always require treatment. Healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercising and eating a balanced diet, can help you manage your symptoms. Heart medications are also available. Surgery is reserved for more serious cases.
- Circulation problems: Circulation problems may improve with regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, medications, or surgery.
- Excessive exercise or heat exhaustion: Drinking plenty of fluids can help when dizziness is caused by excessive exercise or heat exhaustion.
- Decrease in blood volume: Treatment for low blood volume focuses on restoring fluids through an intravenous (IV) line and treating underlying causes such as bleeding.
- Anxiety disorders: Medications and anxiety-reducing techniques, such as therapy, can help with anxiety disorders.
- Anemia: Iron supplements, medications, and eating a balanced diet can help treat anemia.
- Hypoglycemia: If you have symptoms of hypoglycemia, try drinking fruit juice or soda or taking glucose tablets. For severely low blood glucose levels, you may need an injection of the hormone glucagon. Discover other emergency treatments for hypoglycemia.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning: This condition requires immediate medical care. It may be treated with oxygen, a ventilator, and IV fluids.
- Motion sickness: You can try ginger candy, aromatherapy, and over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for motion sickness. Learn more about remedies for motion sickness.
- Multiple sclerosis (MS): This condition currently has no cure, but physical therapy and medications may help with symptoms.
- Parkinson’s disease: Medications, surgery, and exercises may improve Parkinson’s disease symptoms, though there is no cure at the moment.
- Infections: Treatment will depend on the cause of the infection but will likely include hydration and rest.
- COVID-19: Staying hydrated, resting, and doing balance exercises may help with dizziness that persists after a COVID-19 infection. If your symptoms get worse, it’s important to have a doctor check for other underlying conditions.
- Other viral infections: Hydration and rest are key to recovery. Antiviral medications are also available to help you manage conditions such as the flu. OTC medications such as decongestants and pain relievers can help treat a cold.
- Ear infection: An ear infection may get better with rest and drinking fluids, or it may be treated with antibiotics.
- Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis: Treatment often includes medications such as antidizziness medications, The drugs antihistamines., and antibiotics.
- Stroke: You need emergency medical care for a stroke, which may include medications as well as surgery to repair and prevent internal bleeding.
- Malignant tumor: Treatment may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other medications.
- Brain disorders: Treatments will vary depending on the disorder. Possible treatments include pain relievers, physical therapy, speech therapy, and surgery.
A doctor can narrow down the cause of your dizziness by performing a physical examination. They’ll ask you questions about your dizziness, including:
- When it happens.
- The situations where it happens.
- How severe are your symptoms?
- Other symptoms occur with the dizziness.
A doctor may do that.
If the doctor suspects certain causes, including carbon monoxide poisoning, heart conditions, or a stroke, they may recommend a CT scan, an MRI, or another imaging test. You may also need additional tests.
“A doctor can’t determine the cause of dizziness”
A doctor or specialist can check your balance. Problems with your inner ear can affect your balance or cause dizziness.
- TheCDP test is a computerized test that shows you how you balance on your feet.
- Romberg test, which measures how well you keep your balance when standing with your eyes closed for 1 minute
- electronystagmography (ENG) test, which involves a doctor placing sensors around your eyes and measuring your eye movements
- Videonystagmography test, in which you wear goggles and look at light patterns so a doctor can measure your eye movements.
- The test is where goggles record your eye movements while sitting in a chair.
Tests for vertigo
The doctor can perform tests if you have dizziness.
- Dix-Hallpike maneuver, which involves turning your head and then switching quickly between lying down and sitting up so a doctor can check if you experience vertigo
- A doctor looks for problems in your inner ear by playing sounds into earphones while you move your head and eyes, which is called the vestibular evoked myogenic potentials test.
- The video head impulse test records your eye movements as you try to keep your eyes on a target.
Hearing tests may be performed for dizziness. These tests may include some.
- A doctor measures the echoes that come back from your inner ear during an otoacoustic emissions test.
- tympanometry, in which a doctor blows air into your ear to evaluate the movement of your eardrum
- electrocochleography, which tests the electrical activity of the cochlea (a hollow bone in the inner ear) using an electrode placed in the ear
“Meniere’s disease can be diagnosed with encochleography.”
A doctor can use these tests to diagnose dizziness.
- electrocardiogram (EKG), which they use to measure your heart’s electrical activity
- echocardiogram, which is a type of ultrasound that reveals how well your heart works
- stress test, where a doctor monitors your heart as you use a treadmill or perform another type of exercise
If you have recurring bouts of dizziness, follow these tips.
- If you feel dizzy, lie down and rest until you feel better. This can help you avoid falling and serious injury.
- If necessary, use a cane or walker.
- When walking up or down stairs, use handrails.
- Try activities that can help improve your balance, such as yoga and tai chi.
- “Don’t move or switch positions suddenly.”
- If you experience dizziness frequently, you should not drive a car or operate heavy machinery.
- Alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine are not good choices. These substances can make dizziness worse.
- Drink plenty of water and get sufficient sleep. Avoiding stressful situations may also be helpful.
- If you suspect a medication is causing dizziness, talk to your doctor about changing the medication.
- Take an OTC medication such as meclizine (Antivert, Bonine) if you experience nausea along with dizziness. These medications may cause drowsiness, so do not use them when you need to be active or productive.
- If you have dizziness caused by overheating or dehydration, rest in a cool place and drink water.
If you are concerned about your dizziness, you should always speak with a doctor.
Once you treat the underlying cause, most cases of dizziness clear up on their own. In rare cases, dizziness can be a symptom of a bigger problem.
Dizziness may result in complications related to fainting or A loss of balance.. This can be especially dangerous when you’re driving, operating heavy machinery, or climbing a ladder.
If you feel dizziness, use caution. If you become dizzy, stop driving and find a safe place to stay.