Dizziness may cause you to feel light-headed or weak. You may also feel like you are going to faint. It can happen for a short time or continue and get in the way of your daily activities.
It is different from vertigo which is a feeling that the room is spinning.
Many conditions can cause dizziness such as:
Some medicine can also cause dizziness including:
In some cases, dizziness may be due to decreased blood flow to the brain.
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Taking medicine or having condition above increases your risk of dizziness.
Symptoms depend on the type of dizziness you have. Common symptoms include:
Call your doctor if you have:
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:
You will be asked about your symptoms and past health. A physical exam will be done.
Tests may include:
Images may be taken of your bodily structures. This can be done with:
Other tests may include:
Treatment will focus on the cause. This may relieve the dizziness.
It may take some time for treatment to work. Treatment may also not relieve all dizziness. To avoid injuries:
Prevention will depend on the causes. If you tend to get dizzy the following may help prevent a dizzy spell:
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
BC Balance and Dizziness Disorders Society
Dizziness and motion sickness. American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: http://www.entnet.org/content/dizziness-and-motion-sickness. Accessed November 8, 2017.
Dizziness—differential diagnosis. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T360974/Dizziness-differential-diagnosis. Updated March 19, 2018. Accessed November 8, 2017.
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 November 8, 2017.
Last reviewed October 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 10/1/2018