Dizziness is best described as a feeling of being lightheaded, unbalanced, & groggy. Dizziness affects the sensory organs in the body, particularly the eyes & the ears, thus causing faintness & dizziness. Dizziness isn’t a disease in itself, rather a symptom of some other underlying illnesses.
Vertigo is a feeling of generalized dizziness, accompanied by a sensation of spinning & your surroundings moving. Dizziness is a sign & symptom of Vertigo, but these two are inherently different. For one, Vertigo is often characterized by a spinning sensation, acute dizziness, nausea, & fits of vomiting.
Vertigo is also characterized by disequilibrium, which is a feeling of leaning to one side. It is also sometimes accompanied by motion sickness, & a change in gait. This is one of the many differences between Vertigo & Dizziness, as while one of Vertigo signs is light dizziness, pure dizziness is a feeling that you’re about to faint, or nearly fainting. One common thing between both Dizziness & Vertigo is that both are not diseases on their own, but symptoms of some other underlying cause. Dizziness isn’t usually serious, & most cases go away on their own.
However, you should always visit the doctor in case your dizziness is recurrent & lasts for longer durations of time.
The most common causes of Dizziness are alcohol, migraines, & some over-the-counter medications. Certain cases of dizziness also arise from a problem in the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining balance in our body. Dizziness is a Vertigo sign as well, & is prominently present in patients who suffer from any form of Vertigo. The most common cause of related dizziness & Vertigo is a form of Vertigo called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
BPPV causes short term dizziness when a person changes their positions too quickly, such as lying down in bed suddenly or sitting up suddenly. Another common Dizziness cause is Meniere’s disease. Meniere’s disease causes fluid to build up in the inner ear, leading to feelings of pressure, fullness in the ear, accompanied by a constant ringing sound, also called tinnitus.
Acoustic Neuroma is also a possible dizziness & Vertigo cause. It occurs when a non-cancerous tumor forms on the nerve connecting the inner ear & the brain.
Other widely known & popular Dizziness causes include:
- A sudden drop in blood pressure,
- Heart muscle disease,
- A decrease in blood volume,
- Anxiety disorders
- Anemia(low blood iron)
- Hypoglycemia(low blood sugar)
- Ear infection
- Heat Stroke
- Excessive exercises
- Motion Sickness
In some other cases, dizziness can be caused by multiple sclerosis, a stroke, a malignant tumor, or any other brain disorder.
Dizziness comes on in a variety of sensations, some of which are:
- Feeling faint or lightheaded
- A sense of spinning around
- Unsteadiness in gait & balance
- Loss of balance
- A feeling of floating or swimming
Oftentimes, dizziness is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or fainting. You should consult your doctor right away if you’re experiencing these symptoms for a long time.
You should visit your doctor immediately if you experience repeated bouts of dizziness, & also if you experience dizziness along with:
- A head injury
- A headache
- A neck ache
- A high fever
- Blurred vision
- Hearing loss
- difficulty speaking
- numbness or tingling
- Droopiness of the eye or mouth
- Loss of consciousness
- Chest pain
- Ongoing vomiting
The above symptoms, along with frequent, long lasting bouts of dizziness, could indicate a serious underlying health problem. Hence, it is important to consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing these.
During your visit, your doctor may try to determine the exact cause of your dizziness & any other symptoms by performing a proper physical examination. They’ll likely ask questions about your dizziness such as:
- When it occurs
- The situations in which you experience dizziness
- The severity of the symptoms in any episode
- Any other symptoms that occur with the dizziness
Your doctor may also check the state of your eyes & ears, do a neurological exam, make notes of your posture, & perform tests to check your balance. If your doctor suspects a more serious, hidden neurological cause, then they may also perform a CT scan or MRI on you to get to the root of the dizziness.
However, it is important to understand that a proper cause of your dizziness might not be determined even after all the tests have been performed.
Dizziness & Vertigo Treatment
Dizziness, much like Vertigo treatment, focuses on the underlying cause of the condition. In most cases, a mixture of home remedies & medical treatments can help manage the dizziness & Vertigo cause.
A few of the well-known dizziness & Vertigo treatments are listed below:
- Inner ear issues can be effectively managed with medications & at-home exercises that are known to help control balance.
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) can be controlled & managed with the help of certain maneuvers that can alleviate vertigo signs. For those patients whose symptoms are not able to be helped with the exercises, surgery can be a good option.
- Meniere’s disease is treated with a healthy low-salt diet, injections, or surgeries to reduce the fluid build-up in the inner ear.
- Migraines are treated using medications & making certain lifestyle changes, like learning to identify & avoid any known migraine triggers.
- For anxiety-induced dizziness, taking medications & other anxiety-reducing techniques can help with mitigating the condition.
- In case the dizziness is caused by excessive exercise, heat, or dehydration, it can be taken care of by drinking enough fluids & water.
In addition to these well-known treatments, you can take care of recurrent bouts of dizziness in the following ways:
- Sit down & lie on a safe, smooth surface immediately once you experience dizziness & rest until the bout has passed. This will help prevent the chances of falling somewhere, & sustaining any serious injuries.
- Use a cane or walker for maintaining stability, if the need arises.
- Always make use of handrails when walking up or down the stairs to maintain your balance & reduce the chances of falling off if you experience dizziness.
- Perform activities that improve your balance, like Yoga & Tai Chi.
- Avoid moving or changing positions too quickly, & always do it gradually.
- Avoid driving & operating any sort of heavy machinery & industrial equipment if you experience frequent bouts of dizziness without any warning.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, & tobacco, as these substances are known to trigger dizziness & Types of Vertigo signs, frequently making it difficult to control or manage.
- Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, get 8 hours of sleep every night, & generally avoid stressful situations.
- Eat a healthy, full diet that contains adequate amounts of vegetables, fruits, & lean proteins to help prevent dizziness & Vertigo signs.
- If you think your dizziness is caused by taking a certain medication, then consult with your doctor about either switching the medication entirely or reducing its daily dosage.
- If you experience nausea along with dizziness, then certain over-the-counter medications like Meclizine (Antivert), or antihistamines, can help with your condition. These medicines may cause drowsiness, however, so be wary of taking them when you need to be active.
- If your dizziness is caused by overheating or dehydration, then it’s best to rest in a cool corner & drink plenty of water & fluids.
If the frequency & severity of your dizziness doesn’t go away even after taking the required medication, consult your doctor to formulate a better treatment plan.
Looking for help with managing your dizziness & Vertigo signs? At the Neuroequilibrium range of clinics, our Vertigo treatment experts & specialists accurately diagnose, treat, & help you manage your dizziness & Vertigo signs with the use of the latest, cutting-edge technology, years of experience, and medical proficiency.