Learn more about which type of dizziness you are experiencing
Dizziness is a common sensation that most people experience from time to time. You may feel dizzy in a car or on a boat due to the movement. You may also get dizzy from standing up too quickly or when you are having blood drawn – or for no apparent reason.
The feelings most commonly associated with dizziness are lightheadedness and vertigo. Determining the type of dizziness you’re feeling is helpful if you want to know the cause, and, in more extreme cases, it can help a doctor narrow down possible health issues.
If you feel as though you might faint or pass out, you’re experiencing lightheadedness. This sensation is often caused by a temporary decrease of blood to the brain and feels like a reeling sensation. Nausea, temporarily clouded or blurred vision and loss of balance are also common with lightheadedness.
Possible causes of lightheadedness include:
- Drop in blood pressure from standing up too quickly.
- Low blood sugar.
- Anxiety or stress.
- The use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.
Lightheadedness can be dangerous because you may lose your balance and fall. Additionally, it can be a symptom associated with loss of blood. If the feeling is ongoing (more than 15 minutes), it’s important to seek medical help.
Drink water or orange juice and lie down to make the feeling go away.
Vertigo, on the other hand, feels like your surroundings are spinning or moving, even when they’re not. The feeling is similar to when you get off of a merry-go-round. Our bodies use different sensory information, specifically vision, skin pressure, sensory nerves and the balance center in the inner ear to detect balance and orientation. Vertigo occurs when there is a conflict between these signals, and 80 percent of the time it’s associated with an inner ear disorder. Vertigo can also cause nausea or vomiting.
Possible causes of vertigo include:
- Inner ear disorders.
- Injury to head or ear.
- Decreased blood flow to the base of the brain.
Doctors diagnose and treat vertigo. They will usually try to determine the cause by considering other symptoms that accompany your vertigo as well as onset patterns and how severe your vertigo is. If your vertigo occurs suddenly with changes in speech or vision, it’s very important to seek medical attention because the vertigo may be a result of a bigger problem in your brain.
Both lightheadedness and vertigo can be caused by:
- Alcohol and medicine interactions.
- Drug intoxication.
Being able to distinguish between lightheadedness and vertigo is helpful in determining if there could be a bigger issue with your health. Velocity Care Urgent Treatment Center has walk-in clinics in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Shreveport, Louisiana, that can assist you in discovering the reasons you are getting dizzy. They will get to the root of the problem and ensure you start feeling better sooner.
Photo credit: 123RF Stock Photo
This site offers medical, health, fitness and nutritional information and is designed for educational purposes only. General information found on this website is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your health care professional. If reading after hours, one option for treatment is to seek an urgent care or walk-in clinic for medical advice.