Do you often experience feelings of dizziness, lightheadedness, or feeling like the world is spinning around you? It’s one thing to be dizzy occasionally, but it’s another if this is something you find happening more often than not.
Most people describe dizziness as feeling faint, lightheaded, like spinning, or as though your surroundings are spinning. Feeling this way can leave you feeling disoriented or unbalanced.
Many people experience dizziness, and it’s often no cause for alarm. But sometimes, it can be a warning sign of a concerning underlying condition.
Keep reading to learn more about dizziness, why you may feel dizzy, and when to seek emergency medical assistance.
Dizziness and Vertigo
Vertigo is a symptom, rather than a condition, that causes you to feel off balance or dizzy. When you have vertigo, it makes you feel like everything around you is spinning when there’s no actual motion.
You might feel like whirling, tilting, falling, or off-balance. When your vertigo is severe, you may become nauseated or vomit. You may also have difficulty standing or walking, lose balance, and fall. Vertigo is often triggered by moving your head too quickly.
Causes of Dizziness
Dizziness can be due to many reasons, such as:
Anxiety and Depression
If you have anxiety or depression, you may experience physical symptoms and psychological effects. For instance, a flare-up in your anxiety or unmanaged depression can lead to symptoms like dizziness.
Abrupt Drop in Blood Pressure
When your blood pressure is too low, it can cause dizziness. It may feel as if the room is spinning.
Some people have low blood pressure because of genetics or age. It can also be a result of dehydration or pregnancy.
In other cases, a drop in blood pressure could point to severe health issues like neurological problems, anaphylactic shock, or endocrine conditions.
Iron deficiency causes anemia when you don’t have sufficient iron in your blood. At first, you may have no symptoms at all, even though you have low iron levels.
But when left untreated, iron deficiency can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness that might cause you to faint.
Feeling dizzy can be a side effect of certain kinds of medications. Medications that cause dehydration, low blood sugar, or a drop in blood pressure can make you feel lightheaded or dizzy.
Experiencing these side effects increases your risk of falling and injuring yourself. It’s not unusual for feeling dizzy to worsen when you drink alcohol with medications or if you combine medications.
Warning Signs that Dizziness May Be Serious
In some instances, dizziness could be a sign of the following serious conditions when accompanied by these symptoms.
Chest pain or discomfort can feel like pressure, squeezing, a tight ache, or fullness. Dizziness, in addition to chest pain, can also be a sign of a heart attack.
If these symptoms last over 15 minutes, you must seek prompt medical attention. You should also call your local emergency contact immediately if the pain seems to be spreading or you feel like you can’t breathe.
Dizziness, fever, loss of balance, trouble speaking, and face drooping, could signal a stroke. Call 911 immediately if these signs appear.
Stroke is one of the leading causes of severe long-term disability and death. Recognizing the signs of a stroke and seeking prompt medical help is crucial in mitigating the risks of this potentially life-threatening condition.
Shortness of Breath
When you have shortness of breath, you might attempt to take deep breaths or gasp for breath. Dizziness and shortness of breath could be tell-tale signs of life-threatening conditions like a blood clot in the lungs or arteries or even a heart attack.
Contact your doctor without delay if you have these symptoms. They can advise on whether you should go to the emergency room.
Sudden dizziness, trouble walking, confusion, a severe headache, and weakness on one side of your body could mean a stroke. Because blood flow is affected when you suffer a stroke, getting aid sooner increases your chances of survival.
If you’re over 65, have high cholesterol or high blood pressure, and experience new dizziness, you might be in the midst of a stroke.
You may feel as if the room is spinning or you’re falling to one side. If dizziness is accompanied by falling, it demands immediate medical attention.
A thunderclap or severe headache and a stiff neck, dizziness, and vision changes can be symptoms of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH), especially if they occur suddenly.
A subarachnoid hemorrhage happens when blood leaks into the space between the first and second membranes surrounding the brain. Usually, a swollen blood vessel ruptures, causing the condition.
A buildup of blood increases pressure inside the skull, which can cause brain damage. Subarachnoid hemorrhages are also linked to about 5 percent of all strokes.
You should go to the nearest emergency room if you experience these symptoms. Showing any of the above symptoms is when it’s time to worry about dizziness. If this happens, it’s essential to see an ENT specialist without delay.
Get to the Bottom of What’s Causing Your Dizziness
If you frequently get dizzy, it’s time to see the experts at Maryland ENT. Our experienced ENT specialists will determine the source of your dizziness and provide effective treatment to improve your quality of life.
Want to find the root cause of your dizziness? It all starts by scheduling an appointment at Maryland ENT in Baltimore and Lutherville, MD, now!