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Dizziness

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The world goes round and round. For some, it actually does when they suffer from dizziness. This is a medical condition that causes of spatial perception and stability. It is often explained as feeling sick or giddy. There are different types of feelings associated with the term dizziness. We shall understand more in detail about dizziness in this article, so that you can explain better to your doctor about your exact condition.

What is Dizziness?

Dizziness is a broad term used to describe the feeling of being weak, unsteady, lightheaded, etc. It makes one feel as if the surroundings are moving around or spinning. It can either be a symptom of general weakness or a serious condition.

What Does it Mean to be Dizzy?

Dizziness can be felt disoriented or room spinning. In order to describe one’s feeling of dizziness correctly, it is important to note what different sensations may indicate.

Disequilibrium

In this case, the person loses his balance, and falls down, it is termed a disequilibrium. The affected person may move left or right, that is swagger like a drunk. There are many conditions associated with disequilibrium. It could either be due to:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome
  • Peripheral nerve disease
  • Autoimmune diseases of the nerves

Vertigo

The world around you seems like a spinning top. It makes you feel nauseated and vomit. This indicates you are suffering from vertigo. There are many causes of vertigo. This may include:

  • Meniere’s disease
  • Migraine
  • Allergy
  • Injury(People who suffer from trauma, injury or are hit on the skull may suffer from damage of the inner ear. This may lead to nausea, dizziness, and loss of hearing.)
  • Labyrinthitis
  • Vestibular neuritis

Lightheadedness

Also, called as presyncope, it is a feeling of sudden weakness in muscles and being clammy. Most of us may have experienced this feeling after getting up too quickly after lying down in a supine position. Lightheadedness occurs when the blood supply to the brain is reduced. There are many reasons for feeling lightheaded like:

Symptoms of Dizziness

Dizziness is a very broad term and every person can have his/her own specific set of symptoms. It is better to describe to the doctor the specific sensation you felt when feeling dizzy. This will help in better diagnosis of the underlying condition. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Feeling of motion or spinning
  • Loss of balance or unsteady gait
  • Lightheadedness or feeling one is about to faint
  • Heavy-headedness
  • Feeling of floating in the air
  • Severe headache
  • Blurring of vision
  • Stiff neck
  • Chest pain
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Trouble speaking

Common Causes of Dizziness

There are many causes of feeling lightheaded or dizzy. Vertigo and disequilibrium too can occur due to certain health ailments. Some of the common causes of dizziness include:

Diagnosis

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In order to determine the cause of dizziness, the doctor may suggest a few tests. These tests will require you to tilt your head or sleep in a particular position. Some of the tests include:

  • Eye movement test
  • Balance test
  • MRI

Treatment

Dizziness is treated by curing the underlying problems that lead to this sensation. Some of the treatments include:

  • Treatment of inner ear ailments
  • Medications like diazepam, meclizine, etc.
  • Treating Meniere’s disease
  • Medications that help in giving relief from migraine
  • Treatment of infections of the ear

Dizziness is not always a sign of something serious. One should visit a doctor and get themselves checked. If feeling lightheaded or off balanced worries you, see your doctor. Dizziness can lead to injury or accidents. This is because for a moment, you lose the coordination between your body parts. Tests and investigations will help find the root cause of repeated dizzy spells and help you find a solution for the same.

Written by: Saptakee sengupta
Date last updated: March 12, 2015