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Is My Dizziness Normal?


Dizzy young woman

Most of us probably know the feeling of jumping off the couch only to have to take a few seconds to pause because you've moved too quickly and now you feel a little bit dizzy.

But how do you know when a little dizzy is too dizzy? Luckily, Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat has providers who are actually medical experts when it comes to dizziness, and they have some advice!

Causes of Dizziness  

The first step for understanding if you need to talk to a specialist about your dizziness is knowing what's causing it.

  • Inner Ear Disorders
    Inner ear disorders are the most common causes of dizziness. Likely culprits include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's disease and ear infections.
  • Heart or Vascular Issues
    This one might sound scary, but there are some heart and vascular conditions that healthy people experience every day. For example, dizziness could be caused by hyperventilation or low blood pressure due to something as simple as standing up too quickly. However, there are also more concerning conditions like irregular heartbeat or narrowed arteries that could lead to dizzy spells.
  • Brain Issues
    Again, this one sounds scary. True, a hard hit to the head or back leading to a brain injury or multiple sclerosis can cause dizziness, but dizziness can also be a side effect of a migraine.
  • Nutrient Deficit
    Lack of vital nutrients like blood sugar and iron can cause the body to start preserving energy, reducing the amount of activity in all parts of the body, including the brain. This preservation mode can cause you to feel lightheaded, off balanced or confused.
  • Vision Problems
    If the eyes are note working properly, the brain may be receiving conflicting signals, resulting in a feeling of disorientation.
  • Chemicals
    As we know, the body reacts to foreign substances. Everything from alcohol use, to carbon monoxide poisoning, to an incompatible medication can cause dizziness.

When to See a Physician about Dizziness

It's fairly typical for a person to experience short bouts of dizziness from time to time. Sometimes you move a little too emphatically or your body is trying to send the message that you need a break. However, if you relate to any of the following, you should consider talking to your primary physician or a vestibular specialist.

  • Your dizziness won't go away, even after giving your body a moment to catch up or taking a break for a drink or snack
  • You have frequent dizzy spells
  • Your dizziness is causing dangerous falls or collisions
  • Your dizziness is keeping you from participating in activities in your daily life

There are times when dizziness requires immediate medical attention. Seek emergency care if your dizziness is accompanied by:

  • Chest pain
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Fainting
  • Fever
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness in the face, legs or arms
  • Slurred speech
  • Stiff neck
  • Difficulty walking
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