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When the world revolves around you - Dizziness and vertigo

  • By Team TDO

When you say, "doctor, I feel dizzy," your doctor will ask you to be more specific and may ask you several related questions.

This is because the word 'dizzy' or 'dizziness' is a commonly used term to describe several conditions ranging from anxiety to vertigo.

Dizziness is a common symptom and not usually life-threatening, though it is always safe to find out the root cause.

Dizziness has no medical meaning, though the conditions that prompt the person to use the term are medically significant.

Dizziness can be used to describe the following conditions :

Vertigo :

This is a sensation that the world around you is spinning while you are stationary or vice versa. A small game of spinning ‘round and round’ can bring on a bout of vertigo when you stop.
When this spinning sensation happens frequently and without any warranted stimulation, it needs to be investigated. The most common cause of vertigo is a problem with the inner ear, specifically the vestibular part. The inner ear is the part of the body that is responsible for maintaining the balance of your body. Infection of the ear, Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal vertigo, and Dandy’s syndrome are certain conditions that can cause vertigo.

Lightheadedness :

This is a condition that you are about to faint. Lightheadedness is medically called as syncope. Syncope is usually felt when you stand up quickly from a sitting or a lying position. The main reason for this is attributed to the sudden fall in the supply of blood to the brain. Cerebellar diseases, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and cervical spondylosis are some conditions that can cause syncope. Interestingly, too much consumption of alcohol can also cause you to feel lightheaded.

Disequilibrium :

This is a condition that makes people walk in an improper gait and falter in their footsteps. This can be due to a resultant brain disorder.

Anxiety:

The term dizziness is also used by people in conditions where there is severe anxiety, palpitations, fear, etc.

Other than the inner ear, dizziness can be due to a medical condition in your eyes and sensory nerves too.

When you feel dizzy, try these simple tips:

  1. Stand up slowly.
  2. Do not move or walk too quickly.
  3. Sit down immediately when you feel dizzy.
  4. Use a pillow or two at night, keep your head elevated.
  5. Avoid using heavy machinery or driving a car when you suffer from frequent dizziness.
  6. Quit alcohol and caffeine.

Frequent, recurrent dizzy spells mean that you need to have a complete medical check-up as soon as possible.

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