Dizziness

Dizziness is a feeling that commonly individuals experience at some point in their lives. This is the sensation of feeling weak, faint, unsteady or unbalanced. This is usually not an indication of any serious condition but requires to be evaluated by the physician. As the symptom of dizziness is quite vague, it is not always easy to detect the underlying cause of it.

Symptoms

Some of the common sensations that are used to describe the feeling of dizziness include vertigo (a false sensation of everything around spinning), unsteadiness, loss of balance, heavy-headedness, light-headedness and the feeling of floating. It is important to get medical help, particularly when dizziness is accompanied with fainting, shortness of breath, head injury, seizures, chest pain, severe headache and numbness or weakness.

Causes

Some of the common causes of dizziness include a migraine when dizziness occurs before or after a headache, ear infection affecting the balance which can also develop the severe form of dizziness known as vertigo, low blood sugar level (hypoglycemia), dehydration, heat exhaustion, stress and anxiety. Other causes can include problems with heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation), carbon monoxide poisoning, side effects of certain medications and severe illness.

Diagnosis

The physician may enquire about other symptoms accompanying dizziness and whether the individual is taking any medications. A physical examination evaluates the balance and how well the individual is walking. If a stroke is suspected, the individual may be required to have an MRI scan immediately.  The eye movement test can track the movement of the eye when the cold and warm air is placed in the ear canal, posturography test checks the balance of the individual standing in bare feet on a platform and rotary-chair testing involves the individual seated in a chair that continues to move in a circle.

Treatment

Dizziness mostly resolves on its own within a couple of weeks. The treatment for dizziness is based on the cause and can include balance exercises. Some of the medications can reduce the dizziness, prevent the attack of migraines or the individual may be prescribed water pills and anti-anxiety drugs. In some cases, inner ear injection may be required to disable the balance function or the removal of the inner ear sense organ when other treatments for hearing problem and dizziness is not responding.

Lifestyle remedies

Some of the self-care tips during episodes of dizziness can include;

  • Resting
  • Avoiding fast movements of the head
  • Prevent going up or down the stairs
  • Avoiding driving
  • Prevent consumption of caffeine and alcohol
  • When dizziness is caused by dehydration it is important to rest in a cool place and to drink plenty of fluids
  • Discontinuation of medications that may cause dizziness but should be discussed with the physician

References

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dizziness/Pages/Introduction.aspx

https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/dizziness

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dizziness/basics/definition/con-20023004