Whether it’s when you first stand up to get out of bed in the morning – or after a long day outdoors in the heat, it is likely that you’ve felt dizzy at one point or another. Dizziness is an odd sensation; it can make you feel as if the room is spinning and quickly cause you to lose your balance and fall down. As you get older, feeling dizzy can actually become a big health concern since you’re more likely to become dizzy as you age and have a greater potential to suffer significant injuries from a fall—especially if no one is around to help you up. So what exactly happens when you get dizzy? What causes this sensation, and how can you stop it? Let’s take a look at some key facts to help you understand dizziness and keep the room from spinning.
Possible Causes of Dizziness
Sometimes, dizziness is nothing more than a passing sensation that only lasts for a moment. When you move your head quickly, inner ear fluid pushes against receptor cells that help you stay balanced. Even once you’ve stopped moving, the fluid keeps pushing against these cells, so you feel like you’re moving even when you aren’t. If you try to walk a straight line in this state, chances are you’ll fall right down. But what is happening when you feel dizzy for more than just a few seconds? There’s actually a number of different causes that could be behind your loss of balance, and it’s important to know which culprit to blame. Sometimes dizziness can indicate very serious conditions, so you should pay attention to any accompanying symptoms.
Inner Ear Problems – Because the inner ear is responsible for giving us a sense of balance, it is not surprising that problems with the inner ear can lead to dizziness. Issues like vertigo, which affects the inner ear, may be one of the first guesses your doctor makes when you complain of dizziness, but you can rest assured that the cure is relatively simple. In many cases, physical therapy and balance exercises can reduce the problem and eliminate the disruption of dizziness in your life.
Nutritional Deficiencies – If you have ever been dehydrated or skipped a meal, you might know just how terrible you can feel when your body is lacking the water and nutrients it needs. These issues may be chronic if you follow a diet that does not provide you with the nutrition you need or you fail to drink enough water each day.
Migraines – Among the many disruptive symptoms of migraines is dizziness, which would likely be accompanied by the typical aura, light and sound sensitivity, and severe headache that a migraine can cause.
Anxiety - Interestingly, anxiety disorders have been linked to dizziness, indicating that the sensation may really be all in your head. If you suffer from frequent anxiety, you might find that high-pressure situations lead to increased visual stimulation sensitivity, which can translate to feeling like the room is spinning. If you experience dizziness in your 20s or 30s, anxiety is a very likely cause.
Low Blood Pressure - Along with helping maintain balance, the inner ear plays a role in regulating blood flow throughout the body, depending on the position your body is in. If you have low blood pressure, your body may not be able to regulate as effectively, causing you to lose your sense of balance, particularly when you stand up, participate in rigorous activities, or bend down.
Anemia – Anemia is characterized by low levels of iron in the blood, which tends to cause fatigue and the feeling of being drained of energy. When you are overly fatigued, dizziness becomes much more likely.
Stroke – You might be familiar with the most common signs of stroke—blurred vision, impaired speech, and loss of muscle control—but you may not realize that dizziness can be a symptom as well, especially in women. When dizziness comes on suddenly and is accompanied by the other signs of stroke, it’s time to head to the ER immediately.
When you think dizziness is the sign of an urgent condition, don’t hesitate in seeking emergency care. Otherwise, turn to the doctors of MeMD to identify what’s making you dizzy so you can get back to balancing your daily routine.