Why am I dizzy?
Dizziness is the worst. Seriously. It throws everything off and just feels like you aren’t in control of your body. It leaves you disoriented, sometimes nauseous, and sometimes with a loss of balance. Unfortunately, dizziness is not a diagnosis.
Dizziness is a symptom of a number of different conditions, some more serious and some less serious. The good news is that most of the time dizziness can easily be treated when you know the cause. So let’s dive in and discuss a few of the most common causes.
Low blood pressure:
This usually presents itself when you stand up for laying down or sitting and is usually transient. It usually feels more like lightheadedness and often resolves when you drink enough fluids. Low blood pressure can be serious because you can collapse or fall if the pressure is too low. There are many causes of low blood pressure and it is best to consult your physician if you are experiencing lightheadedness or unstable when you change positions. The last thing anyone needs is passing out and falling. That can lead to a whole lot of other problems.
Adverse side effects to medications:
This can present itself in a number of different ways like light-headedness, the room spinning, being off-balance, feeling “foggy” or just off. If your symptoms are caused by a new medication or change in medication, these symptoms usually present themselves within a few days of the medication change. If you suspect this might be the case you should immediately consult your physician or pharmacist. They will be the best source of information on how to manage those side effects.
Concussions and post-concussive symptoms:
Concussions are not always sports injuries. You could have a concussion from a fall, a car accident, or any kind of impact. Sometimes people have concussive symptoms from whiplash where the head does not impact another surface. The symptoms can be varied as well. Oftentimes the dizziness or unsteady feeling is associated with light sensitivity, fatigue, and noise sensitivity. Concussion symptoms indicate that your brain has experienced some sort of trauma and it is trying to heal.
When you have a sprained ankle or wrist, you automatically understand that it can take weeks of rest and rehab to get back to normal activity. With concussions, we often assume that the symptoms will just go away. However, a concussion is a brain injury. It is a mild one, but just like the rest of your body, your brain will need to recover from the trauma. The problem is that you cannot brace or “rest” the brain. It is your motherboard. It controls everything you do including the unconscious things like breathing and digesting your food. There is no way for your brain to fully rest. Therefore it can be more difficult and take longer to recover from a concussion. Additionally, it may take a skilled provider to guide you through the process, so that you know when to push and when to rest. Concussions are easily one of the most under-treated conditions.
Vestibular(inner ear) conditions:
The vestibular symptom is a marvel of nature. It consists of three fluid filled canals in the inner ear that act like a bubble level. There are little hairs and little stones inside these canals that send signals to the brain to let you know where you are in space. Your brain also gets this information from your vision as well as from sensors in your joints. When these systems work well together you know where you are at all times. When one of these systems don’t work, your balance and sense of position decrease.
When the inner ear does not function properly, the messages you get from your brain and from your eyes conflict. This leads your brain to be totally confused. That leads to the feeling of the world spinning and can lead to you falling down, being nauseated and even vomiting.
If you have ever experienced vertigo like this before you are not alone. It can be brought on by rolling over in bed, turning your head quickly, or even getting up from sitting.
It’s a scary feeling. The good news is that most vestibular conditions can easily be treated with either physical therapy or medications.
As you can see dizziness is a symptom of a number of different conditions. Some more serious and some less so. However, it can be treated. You should not be living with a constant feeling of being dizzy or feeling like you are going to fall. There is hope for a resolution to these symptoms.
If you want to learn more about dizziness check out www.dizzinessgetsbetterwithPT.com.