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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Dizziness

Also known by other terms such as vertigo, syncope, fainting, disequilibrium, imbalance, lightheadedness and blackout, dizziness is a sensation akin to being spun on a merry-go-round. It is a feeling of losing balance that is usually accompanied by a sensation of nausea, belching and then vomiting.

It is a painless discomfort felt in the head with many possible causes, including disturbances of vision, the brain, balance and gastrointestinal conditions. A feeling of dizziness is an indicator that there may be something physically wrong.

What conditions cause dizziness?

Among the more common conditions associated with dizziness are:

  • Cold or flu
  • Sea sickness or motion sickness
  • Phobias such as fear of heights, sight of blood and other psychologically triggered apprehensions
  • Prolonged standing
  • Confused thinking

Dizziness may be mildly annoying or may be a symptom of a life-threatening condition.

By affecting a person’s vestibular system – a section in the inner ear concerned with balance – a feeling of dizziness may indicate a deep-seated physical condition such as that leading to a stroke. Dizziness may also indicate the presence of a tumor.

When should I see a doctor?

Dizziness should be a cause of concern for anyone if:

  • The case is severe or occurs for the first time
  • If it happens without a cause
  • If the condition worsens from past episodes
  • It occurs without a clear or certain cause

In some patients, such as those only recently taking maintenance medicines for hypertension or who have had a change of prescription, a feeling of dizziness may be a normal sensation.

Unless a person is certain of the cause of the dizziness, or unless the feeling goes away quickly, it is necessary to immediately seek medical help or call an ambulance, as the sensation may already be an indication of a stroke or heart attack.

What causes dizziness?

Dizziness may be due to but is not necessarily restricted to the following causes:

  • High blood pressure. Extremely high blood pressure can rupture blood vessels, thereby causing a stroke. Depending on severity, a stroke can cause brain damage.
  • Low blood pressure. Low blood pressure can have several effects, ranging from ear bleeding to anemia. This condition can be caused by the body’s reaction to certain medications.
  • Low blood sugar.
  • Hypoxia, or low blood oxygen.
  • Dehydration such as in heat stroke.
  • A sudden sensation of dizziness may also be an indication of heart attack.
  • Dizziness may also be caused by sudden strenuous movements such as rapidly assuming an upright position.

Dizziness may be caused by certain conditions such as:

  • Endocrine diseases wherein hormone-producing organs such as the thyroid, adrenal glands and pituitary gland affect hydration and, thus, the function of other organs.
  • Psychiatric reasons such as depression, anxiety or panic disorder.

For innovative, state-of-the art facial plastic and ENT surgical care, come to SoCal ENT. To schedule your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Namazie, please call us at 818.986.5500, or you can use our online Request an Appointment form.

 

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