Dizziness may cause you to feel light-headed or weak. You may feel like you are going to faint. Dizziness can happen for a short period of time or be a long-lasting condition that gets in the way of your daily activities. It is different than vertigo, which is a feeling that the room is spinning or rotating while you are still.
Many conditions can cause dizziness such as:
Prescription medications can also cause dizziness. These may include:
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Dizziness is a symptom that may be caused by another condition. There are no risk factors for dizziness.
Symptoms depend on the type of dizziness you have. Common symptoms include:
Call your doctor if you:
Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:
Look for and know the signs of stroke. These may include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your doctor may recommend the following to find the cause of your dizziness:
Treatment depends on the cause of the dizziness. If your dizziness is caused by a condition, the treatment may help reduce symptoms. Examples include:
|Orthostatic hypotension||Medication, lifestyle and dietary changes|
|Motion sickness||Medication, lifestyle and lifestyle changes|
|Anxiety disorder or other mental health condition||Therapy and medication|
|Infection||Antibiotic or antiviral medication|
|Dizziness due to medication that you are taking||Changes to your medication|
|Imbalance||Physical therapy to build strength and balance|
To avoid injuries, make these lifestyle changes:
Try these tips to prevent dizziness:
American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor
Vestibular Disorders Association
Balance and Dizziness Disorders Society
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated January 14, 2013. Accessed April 25, 2013.
Dizziness and motion sickness. American Academy of Otolaryngology website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/dizzinessMotionSickness.cfm . Updated December 2010. Accessed April 25, 2013.
Dizziness-differential diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated December 16, 2011. Accessed April 25, 2013.
Stroke warning signs and symptoms. American Stroke Association website. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp . Accessed April 25, 2013.
Last reviewed April 2013 by Rimas Lukas, MD; Brian Randall, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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