Dizziness can be defined as an altered sense of balance or feeling of being lightheaded, weak, or fainting sensation. It is one of the most common disorders in adults. When there is a false dizzy spell where you feel either your or your surroundings are spinning, it is termed as vertigo which is different from dizziness. Dizziness can affect your sense of balance which increases chances of falling.
Dizziness can be caused by a number of conditions which involves several parts of the body. Some of the possible causes include:
- Disorders of the ear
- Effects of certain medications
- Change in blood pressure
- Poor blood circulation
- Neurological conditions
- Changes in blood sugar and iron levels
- Problems with eyesight
Dizziness can also be an indication of an underlying health condition.
Dizziness may be experienced as a range of symptoms or a number of sensations which include:
- Spinning sensation
- Feeling faint
- Feel like floating
- Heavy headedness
The mentioned symptoms may worsen with movement and change in position. It can occur suddenly or may take some time. Symptoms may last only for a few seconds or for a longer duration. It may be less or more frequent.
The underlying cause of dizziness can be diagnosed by the following measures:
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Medical history
- Physical examination
- Hearing evaluation
- Vestibular assessment
- Imaging procedures like CT and MRI
There are no exact preventive measures for dizziness. You can reduce the risk of falling, reduce the severity of the condition and reduce the chances of recurrence by the following measures.
- Avoid waking up suddenly from the bed.
- Avoid sudden changes in position.
- When standing up, stand up slowly.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Reduce or manage stress.
- Get enough sleep.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine and salt.
If there are no serious underlying conditions, dizziness usually gets better without treatment. If treatment is required it mostly depends on the cause.
- Medications including pain relievers, anti-anxiety medications and drugs to relieve the spinning sensation and nausea may be prescribed by your doctor.
- Balance exercises and therapies are part of the dizziness treatment plan. It varies depending on the underlying cause and your symptoms.
- Psychotherapy may be required for people whose dizziness is due to anxiety disorders.
- Surgical procedures are used when the balance organ in the inner ear is affected. The procedure is called labyrinthectomy in which the inner ear sense organ is removed. This is seldom used if there is severe hearing loss and when other treatment measures become ineffective.
- Injections to the inner ear may also be given to disable the balancing function of the affected ear. In this case, the normal ear takes up that function.
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