We’ve all been there. One minute you’re sitting down, enjoying your favorite tv show, and in the next minute, when you quickly stand up, the room begins to spin. If you’ve ever felt the disoriented feeling of being off-balance with lightheadedness and a false sense of motion, then you may have experienced dizzy spells.
Dizziness is not a medical condition that stands on its own; instead, it is the symptom of an underlying issue within the body. Read on to discover some of its most typical causes, symptoms and treatment options.
What Causes Dizziness?
1. Side Effect of Another Illness
If you have recently experienced dizzy spells, they may be due to an underlying issue. Dizziness is a common side effect of many medical conditions, including migraines, low blood sugar, motion sickness, iron deficiency anemia, dehydration, ear infection, stress and anxiety. Speak to an ENT specialist if you think your dizziness may be caused by another condition.
2. Side Effect of Medication
Did you notice your dizziness began after starting a new prescription? If so, you may have dizziness as a side effect of the medicine. Though it is a common side effect associated with many medications, dizziness can also indicate something more serious, like a sudden change in blood pressure. Consult with your physician if you experience dizziness due to your prescription.
3. Sudden Drop in Blood Pressure
As we just mentioned, dizziness can occur after a sudden drop in blood pressure. Postural hypotension takes place when you stand or sit up suddenly. If you’ve ever felt lightheaded after standing up quickly, then you’ve probably experienced this type of blood-pressure-related dizziness.
4. Inner Ear Infections
The inner ear plays an essential role in our balance and coordination. When you have labyrinthitis, more commonly known as an inner ear infection, inflammation leads to the onset of many symptoms, including dizziness, nausea, temporary hearing loss and loss of balance. Address the secondary symptom of dizziness by treating the underlying inner ear infection.
5. Decreased Blood Flow from the Brain
Dizziness can also occur when there is not enough blood flowing to your brain. This decrease in blood flow is sometimes the result of a clogged artery, or atherosclerosis, which constricts blood vessels and slows blood flow. In this case, dizziness is a serious warning sign that should be discussed with your doctor immediately.
1. Feeling Off-Balance
2. Double Vision/Blurred Vision
3. False Sense of Motion (Spinning)
How to Get Rid of Dizziness and Stop Lightheadedness
1. Drink Water
One of the top causes of minor dizziness is dehydration. Be sure to get your recommended daily amount of water and avoid alcohol, caffeine and tobacco, all of which can contribute to dehydration.
2. Lie Down Until the Dizzy Spell Passes
When you become dizzy, try lying down (but not completely flat) and waiting until the dizzy spell passes. Once you feel like the sensation has subsided, get up slowly. Keep in mind that although you may be tempted to close your eyes when you lie down, doing so may actually make the spinning worse.
3. Eat Some Ginger
Ginger is a root vegetable and aromatic used for centuries to relieve nausea and dizziness. Whether taken in fresh or powdered form, ginger helps improve blood circulation, which can help reduce dizziness. Ginger can also work as a blood thinner, so be sure to consult your doctor before increasing your ginger intake.
If none of the above remedies help lessen your dizziness, then you may require medication or further medical treatment. Medications used to counteract dizziness also often target the underlying issue. Your doctor will prescribe proper medication depending on what triggers your dizziness, whether migraines, anxiety or one of many other dizziness-inducing conditions. Other medications used to treat dizziness include water pills and diuretics, antihistamines and anticholinergics.
Don’t let sudden dizziness take you away from the things you love.
Try out the tips above for quick relief when your surroundings start spinning, and you feel off-balance even during normal activities.
If you find yourself dealing with constant dizzy spells, or if you suspect your dizziness is the result of a more serious underlying condition, contact one of our specialists for help. There are many options available to combat dizziness, and our specialists at ENT and Allergy Associates can help determine your best course of action.