Safety, Self Care, Head and Neck
Dizziness is not a pleasant sensation. Episodes can leave you feeling unbalanced, faint, and sick to your stomach. Dizziness also increases your risk of falling.
But most episodes of dizziness by themselves are not life-threatening.
Fast movements can cause blood pressure to drop. Long stretches between meals can cause a dip in blood sugar. Occasionally, feeling dizzy, weak, or woozy are symptoms of other conditions and should be taken seriously.
Many people find the condition unpleasant. In fact, four out of 10 people call their doctors for check-ups because they feel dizzy.
People who complain about dizziness or vertigo, describe the experience as feeling like the room is spinning. The sensation is so strong people will hang on to furniture or lie down until the sensation stops.
Messages sent to the brain from the inner ear, eyes, muscles, or joints can trigger the condition. People feel dizzy when they stand up too quickly, skip lunch, or experience stress or anxiety.
But there are other causes of dizziness, too.
The sensation of dizziness can also be caused by environmental factors such as overheating, stress, dehydration, or anxiety. Many of us have seen wedding videos of the best men or bridesmaids swaying as dizziness overtakes them.
When dizziness is combined with the symptoms of heart attack or stroke, call your healthcare provider or 9-1-1, right away.
Signs to watch for include vision loss, double vision, numbness, slurred speech, sudden or a severe headache, vomiting, fever; or shortness of breath, tightness in your chest, arm, back, neck or jaw. When any of these symptoms combine with dizziness seek immediate medical attention.
If your dizziness interferes with your ability to live a normal life or if your episodes last longer than two weeks, contact your healthcare provider.
Physical therapists use several hands-on manipulation methods to relieve dizziness. Some treatments move crystals in a person’s inner ear that cause the condition to a different location to stop the spinning. Depending on a patient’s diagnosis, Bone & Joint’s physical therapists may recommend at-home therapeutic exercises to reduce the severity of symptoms.
It’s important to work with a licensed physical therapist to determine the best type of exercise. Using the wrong movements could make your symptoms and the condition worse.
Falling is a major health risk when you are dizzy. If you have frequent episodes, there are precautions you can take in advance to stay safe.
While feeling dizzy may be more inconvenient than serious, pay attention when you feel off-balance or lightheaded. Play it safe and don’t fall.
If you’ve had several episodes during a week, call your medical provider for an appointment.
If the symptoms are combined with vision problems, vomiting, inability to move, or pain in the chest, back, neck, or jaw. Call 9-1-1!
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