Dizziness is a common description for many different feelings. The feeling of dizziness may be very familiar to you, yet difficult to describe.
Vertigo is a medical term used to describe the feeling of spinning, whirling, or motion – either of yourself or your surroundings. This is the same feeling you might have after getting off a merry-go-round or spinning in place. Several diseases of the balance organs of the inner ear can cause vertigo, or it may be a symptom of a tumor or stroke.
Dizziness is usually only mildly annoying, but may be caused by something serious. Sometimes no specific cause can be found, but potential dangerous causes need to be excluded. Most causes of dizziness are harmless and the problem goes away on its own.
Aside from those mentioned below, here are other possible causes of dizziness:
Dangerous, life-threatening illnesses may start with dizziness as the only sign. See a doctor if any of the following occur:
Call an ambulance unless you are certain of the cause of the dizziness, or the feeling goes away quickly. Dizziness may be the only symptom of a heart attach or stroke. If you are at risk of heart disease, or have a history of heart disease, an ambulance may save your life.
All dizziness with loss of consciousness needs emergency medical attention.
High blood pressure (usually extremely high) can cause damage to the brain, with associated dizziness.
Dehydration can cause a drop in blood pressure, which reduces the amount of oxygen that the brain receives and causes dizziness. Dehydration can also lead to an inner ear fluid imbalance, which can cause dizziness.
Almost all medications list dizziness as a possible side-effect. Examples include blood pressure medications, sedatives, tranquilizers, antidepressants, pain relievers, some antibiotics. Diuretics cause dehydration, blood electrolyte changes, heart effects and/or direct side-effects.
Dizziness can be caused by any condition causing confusion or an altered state of mind, including medications, drugs or alcohol.
Dizziness and fainting spells are a possible symptoms of hypoglycemia, which may in turn be a reaction to insulin.
General weakness or deconditioning of the body can produce dizziness.
When the vestibular nerve (connecting the inner ear to the brain) is affected, dizziness or vertigo can result, especially in association with diabetes.
Dizziness and disorientation are possible symptoms of a brain tumor.
Your body is a highly complex, interconnected system. Instead of guessing at what might be wrong, let us help you discover what is really going on inside your body based on the many clues it is giving.
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