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Dizziness is a term used for describing a variety of feelings, such as-sensations of motion, lightheadedness, woozy, unsteadiness, loss of balance, or the feeling of fainting. In this article you will know all about the common causes of Dizziness and everything about the symptoms of Dizziness.
The dizziness is a broader term which can be categorized into the following:
• Vertigo: an illusion of movement against your surroundings. Typically described as either spinning of the room or spinning of self within the room. However a feeling of disorientation in space can also suggest vertigo.
• Near syncope: a feeling of fainting or lightheadedness.
• Disequilibrium: a sense of unsteadiness while walking.
• Nonspecific dizziness: a condition considered to be due to sensory disorder associated with anxiety.
Dizziness in itself is not a disease, but a symptom of an underlying disorder. It is quite common and often resolves on its own or with mild treatment.
However, sometimes it may point towards a serious underlying condition, especially when accompanied by significant symptoms or stay for long periods.
During an episode of dizziness, you may experience common causes of dizziness and one or more of the following symptoms of dizziness:
• Feeling of fainting
• Sense of the surroundings spinning or you spinning within your surrounding
• Loss of balance
• Woozy feeling
Different sets of symptoms of dizziness may suggest a different cause. These symptoms of dizziness may be accompanied by some accessory signs and symptoms, which may further indicate a specific underlying cause.
The accompanying symptoms can be as follows:
• Ringing sound in the ear
• Facing difficulty in hearing
• Unusual eye movements
• Difficulty in seeing
Generally, the feeling resolves on its own or with mild management. However, when the symptoms of dizziness are prolonged, appear suddenly, or severe in intensity, you should consult a doctor. There are some common causes of Dizziness that you should also know.
You must also consult a doctor immediately if your dizziness is accompanied by the following warning signs and symptoms:
• Chest pain
• Breathing problem or difficulty
• Sudden and severe headache
• Fainting or loss of consciousness
• Double vision or blurred vision
• Feeling of numbness or paralysis in the arms or legs
• Numbness in the facial muscles or the feeling of them sagging down
• Irregular heartbeat
• Speech trouble or slurred speech
• Difficulty in walking
• Continuous Vomiting
• Problems with hearing or hearing loss
All of these symptoms could point to dangerous underlying health conditions, which might require immediate treatment without wasting too much time.
A delay in diagnosis can further deteriorate the physical health leading to adverse outcomes.
Dizziness can be due to a vast number of reasons, and the frequency and the length of dizziness helps doctors pinpoint the common causes of dizziness. To understand why one experiences dizziness, it is crucial to know how the body works to maintain its balance.
The body needs three inputs that ensure that the brain understands how fast we are moving, in which direction, and how much further has the head moved.
• The inner ear consists of several canals that are filled with fluid.
• The movement of these fluids as the head moves, helps the brain understand the motion.
These send signals to the brain about the body movement and change in position to correlate with the data available from the ears.
• Eyes provide the visual clue as to where the body is with respect to its surroundings and in which direction or how it is moving.
• Eyes are adjusted and moved according to the information supplied by the fluid in the ears, so that the image seen is clear.
After receiving the inputs from three different sources, the brain interprets the actual body position and prepares the body to act accordingly.
Any condition that affects the interplay of these signals starting from the inner ear to the brain, can lead to the development of dizziness.
These all common causes of Dizziness can be caused due to many other reasons, and some of them are mentioned below.
Due to false information from the ears which don’t match with what the eyes observe, one can face confusion in the brain due to mixed signals, which causes the feeling of vertigo.
Some of the inner ear problems include:
1. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
This condition is a common cause of vertigo and can be triggered by rapid head movements while sleeping or due to a head injury.
Cause: It is caused to the deposition of calcium carbonate crystals in the ear canal, and the brain misinterprets the information due to the presence of these crystals.
2. Meniere’s Disease
This condition can cause vertigo, which may last for several hours, accompanied by hearing loss or ringing sound in the ears.
Cause: The major cause of this condition is the fluid build-up in the inner ear or the ear canal suddenly, and there is no known cause of this disease.
3. Vestibular Neuritis
An inflammation in the vestibular nerve can cause an immense feeling of vertigo, which is called vestibular neuritis.
It occurs when there is an inflammation in the inner ear or labyrinth and could be accompanied by a sudden hearing loss or trouble in hearing.
This form of dizziness occurs when there is a momentary decrease in the blood flow to the brain.
Normally when you get up from a sitting to a standing position, a mechanism helps to maintain a constant blood flow to the brain. It works by narrowing the blood vessels to the brain, which maintains a constant blood pressure that counters a sudden change in position against gravity. When this reflex fails to work properly, it causes the feeling of light-headedness or fainting.
This seems to be the cause in orthostatic hypotension, vasovagal syndrome, or in response to some triggering factors such as:
• Blood loss
• Consumption of certain medication
Cardiac problems like cardiomyopathy, cardiac arrhythmia, cardiac arrest, or stroke can cause dizziness due to the low supply of blood to the inner ear and the brain.
Additional Symptoms: Dizziness is often accompanied by other symptoms like chest congestion, tightness in chest, or difficulty in breathing.
Disequilibrium typically occurs due to an imbalance between the sensory inputs and motor outputs. This results in unsteadiness and disbalance.
It is usually seen in older adults due to an age-related decrease in managing sensory inputs and posture-related reflexes.
It is often triggered by uneven ground, unfamiliar surroundings, or poor lighting.
Cervical spondylosis is a common cause that may bring changes in the spinal cord.
Below are the miscellaneous common causes of dizziness.
Certain medicines, when consumed, may induce dizziness like:
• Some blood pressure medication that can lower the blood pressure considerably.
2. Motion Sickness
Repetitive motion when traveling in a car, airplane, or boat can give rise to a feeling of nausea, vomiting, and dizziness, which is often referred to as sea-sickness or motion-sickness.
It usually subsides once the motion is stopped.
Usually a recurring type of headache which can last more than an hour,some people experience dizziness and vertigo during or before the onset of migraine even if the headache isn’t prominent.
4. Low Iron or Anaemia
Iron deficiency causes a reduction in the supply of oxygen-rich blood in the body. It can often cause dizziness along with other symptoms like fainting, weakness, pale skin, chest pain, and shortness of breath.
5. Neurological disorder
Some disorders related to the neural network in the body like multiple sclerosis, peripheral neuropathy, or Parkinson’s disease can lead to dizziness due to the loss of body balance.
6. Low Blood Sugar or Hypoglycaemia
When blood sugar falls below a particular level in the blood, it can cause dizziness along with other symptoms like fatigue or weakness, lightheadedness, mood swings, sweating, anxiety, etc.
Low blood sugar can be caused due to:
• Consumption of Insulin or other medication in diabetic patients
• Skipping meals or fasting
• Alcohol consumption
Dizziness is a common occurrence in people facing anxiety. One can experience dizziness due to the onset of an anxiety or panic attack due to any reason, or it can be the other way round where dizziness sets off a panic attack.
Other Symptoms of dizziness: include restlessness, worrying, mood swings, breathing trouble, concentration difficulty, sleeping problems etc.
Excess stress can also set off a panic attack or dizziness due to excess heart rate and shallow breathing.
It can cause many other medical conditions, including depression, heart diseases or diabetes, and some accompanying symptoms include:
• Rapid breathing
• Body trembling
Excess loss of water from the body, especially when the outside temperature is considerably high, can cause people to experience dizziness due to a rise in the body temperature.
10. Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas that replaces oxygen in the blood, thereby reducing the oxygen supply in the body and can lead to dizziness and fatal consequences, including death.
If you know about the common causes of dizziness and facing any signs and symptoms of Dizziness then, It is important to consult a doctor when the condition lasts a long time and occurs in regular intervals. A timely diagnosis can help understand the cause and help prevent any further damage.
The diagnosis depends on a multitude of factors, and some are mentioned below.
As we have discussed about common causes of Dizziness, lets know about how can dizziness be treated. if it subsides automatically, might not need any medical attention, but the underlying condition might need medical treatment.
Each condition might require a different treatment, and one can also opt to treat the dizziness in case there are no underlying conditions.
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