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4 main causes of dizziness (and what to do)

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4 main causes of dizziness (and what to do)
4 main causes of dizziness (and what to do)

Dizziness is a symptom of some change in the body, which does not always indicate a serious disease or condition and which, in most cases, is caused by a situation known as labyrinthitis, but which can also indicate changes in balance, changes in heart function or medication side effect.

Another very common situation is dizziness when standing up, which happens due to a situation known as orthostatic hypotension, in which blood pressure decreases because the person stands up too quickly. However, this type of dizziness is temporary and improves in a few seconds.

It is more common for dizziness to appear in the elderly, however, it also occurs in young people, however, whenever repeated episodes of dizziness appear, it is recommended to schedule an appointment with the general practitioner or family doctor to have them investigated the possible causes, however, if the dizziness is very strong or prolonged, for more than 1 hour, it is recommended to go to the emergency room for a faster evaluation and treatment.

Watch the following video and see some exercises that can help get rid of dizziness:

The main causes of dizziness are:

1. Vertigo or Labyrinthitis

Labyrinthitis is the most common cause of vertigo, it is the type of dizziness that gives the sensation that everything is spinning around, which can be accompanied by nausea and tinnitus, and usually happens due to changes in the ear. Vertigo usually causes dizziness even when lying down, and it is common for it to be triggered by movements made with the head, such as turning sideways in bed or looking to the side.

What to do: the treatment for vertigo and labyrinthitis is done by the ENT, which depends on the origin of the dizziness, but the use of drugs such as Betahistine, of daily use, and Dramamin, in crises. In addition, it is recommended to avoid stress and the consumption of caffeine, sugar and cigarettes, which are situations that can worsen the dizziness crisis.

Other less common vertigo situations are labyrinthitis caused by inflammation or ear infections, vestibular neuritis and Meniere's disease, for example. Learn more about the causes and how to treat labyrinthitis.

2. Imbalance

The feeling of imbalance is another important cause of dizziness, and it happens because it causes the sensation of being staggered or with loss of balance. This situation can cause constant dizziness and usually happens in the elderly or in situations of:

  • Vision changes such as cataract, glaucoma, myopia or hyperopia;
  • Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's, stroke, brain tumor or Alzheimer's, for example;
  • Blow to the head, which can cause temporary or permanent damage to the region of the brain that regulates balance;
  • Loss of sensation in feet and legs, caused by diabetes;
  • Consumption of alcohol or drugs, which alter the perception and ability of the brain to function;
  • Use of medicines that can alter the balance, such as Diazepam, Clonazepam, Fernobarbital, Phenytoin and Metoclopramide, for example. Understand better which drugs cause dizziness.

What to do: to treat the imbalance it is necessary to solve its cause, with the appropriate treatment of vision with the ophthalmologist or the neurological disease with the neurologist. It is also important to consult a geriatrician or general practitioner so that medication adjustments can be made according to each person's condition and needs.

3. Pressure drop

The dizziness that occurs due to heart and circulation changes is called presyncope or orthostatic hypotension, and arises when the pressure drops and blood is not pumped properly to the brain, causing the sensation of fainting or darkening. and appearance of bright spots in the vision.

This type of dizziness can appear when waking up, standing up, during exercise or even suddenly when standing still. The main causes are:

  • Sudden drop in pressure, called orthostatic hypotension, and arises from a defect in the adjustment of pressure, which is usually not serious, and happens by changes in posture, as if get out of bed or chair;
  • Heart problems, such as arrhythmias or heart failure, which make it difficult for blood to flow through the circulation. See the 12 symptoms that could indicate a heart problem;
  • Use of some drugs that cause pressure drops, such as diuretics, nitrates, methyldopa, clonidine, levodopa and amitriptyline, for example, especially in the elderly;
  • Pregnancy, as it is a period in which there are changes in circulation and blood pressure may decrease. Find out more details on how to prevent and relieve dizziness during pregnancy.

Other conditions, such as anemia and hypoglycemia, although they do not cause a drop in blood pressure, alter the blood's ability to carry oxygen and nutrients to brain cells, and can cause a feeling of dizziness.

What to do: the treatment for this type of dizziness also depends on the resolution of its cause, which can be done with a cardiologist, geriatrician or general practitioner, who can do the investigation with exams and necessary adjustments.

4. Anxiety

Psychological changes such as depression and anxiety cause dizziness, as they trigger episodes of panic and changes in breathing. These situations cause dizziness that is usually accompanied by shortness of breath, tremors and tingling in the extremities, such as hands, feet and mouth.

This type of dizziness can also happen repeatedly, and appears in periods of heightened stress.

What to do: it is necessary to treat anxiety, with psychotherapy and, if necessary, antidepressant or anxiolytic medication, prescribed by the psychiatrist.

What to do in case of dizziness

When feeling dizzy, keep your eyes open, stop, and look at a fixed point ahead. Doing this for a few seconds usually makes the feeling of dizziness go away quickly.

In the case of vertigo, which is when you are still but feel things move around you, as if the world were spinning, a good solution is to do some eye exercises and a specific technique that improves the vertigo attacks in a few sessions. Check out the step-by-step exercises and technique here.

Still, if dizziness does not improve, if it is very intense or if it is accompanied by other symptoms, it is important to consult a general practitioner, to identify if there is a specific cause that needs treatment.

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