What is Dizziness?
Dizziness is often used to describe different symptoms. It can mean that you feel lightheaded, unsteady, or woozy, or it may mean you feel like you or the room is spinning.
It is important for you to explain to the doctor what you mean when you say you are feeling dizzy. The 2 most of the common conditions referred by the term dizziness are lightheadedness and vertigo.
Lightheadedness is the feeling that you can get when you stand up too fast and feel like you might faint. Sometimes the room even “goes black” when, for a few seconds, there’s not enough oxygen in your brain.
The feeling that you are spinning or the room is spinning is called vertigo. It is a loss of balance. It makes it hard to keep standing. In fact, you cannot tell which way is “up”. This loss of balance often comes with nausea and vomiting and sometimes sweating.
What is the cause of dizziness?
Dizziness is a symptom, not a disease. Most often it is mild and doesn’t last long, and a cause is not found. Sometimes it is a sign of another problem.
Lightheadedness can be caused by tiredness, stress, fever, dehydration, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, anemia, head injury, heart or circulation problems, or stroke. Dizziness is a common problem during pregnancy. It can also be caused by some medicines.
Feelings of vertigo may be caused by an infection or disease in the inner ear. For example, one possible cause is inflammation of the inner ear called labyrinthitis. Other inner ear problems that can trigger vertigo are Ménière’s disease and positional vertigo.
How is dizziness diagnosed?
Your doctor will ask you to describe your dizziness and how it happened in as much detail as you can. Your doctor will want to know about any other symptoms or medical problems you are facing. Your doctor will see if you get dizzy again by doing things that can have caused your dizziness, such as rapid breathing.
Your doctor will examine your ears, eyes, and nervous system. You can have a CT or MRI scan of the brain to look for something that might be causing dizziness, such as a tumor, stroke, or multiple sclerosis.
How is dizziness treated?
The treatment depends on the cause of the dizziness. If your healthcare provider finds a problem that is causing the dizziness, you will be treated for the problem.
For example, if you are having Ménière’s disease, your doctor may advise a low-salt diet to decrease swelling in your inner ear. You may also be given steroid medicine to decrease swelling and inflammation.
If your doctor thinks you have a bacterial infection, he or she may prescribe antibiotics. In some of the cases, antiviral medicines will be prescribed.