is a feeling of faintness or light-headedness, making it difficult
to maintain balance while standing or sitting.
of dizziness (light-headedness) are minor. It is important
to differentiate simple dizziness from vertigo (a spinning
sensation or the feeling that you or the room around you is
moving). Vertigo often indicates an inner ear problem but
it can also signify a problem with the cerebellum or the brainstem.
disorders may cause light-headedness such as insufficient
blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain, such as can be
caused by a rapid drop in blood pressure. Serious disorders
that can cause light-headedness (usually in addition to other
symptoms) include heart problems such as a valve disorder
or heart attack, stroke and severe hypotension or shock.
is a fainting feeling that often accompanies the flu, common
cold or dehydration. Light-headedness without other symptoms
is usually not serious.
spells are not dangerous, but if there is any question, call
for medical help. Sudden loss of consciousness (vasovagal
faint) happens more easily when a person is upright. A simple
faint is rarely preceded by symptoms such as pain, pressure,
constriction in the chest or shortness of breath -- but generalized
weakness, nausea, tunnel vision and sweating may occur.
can also be caused by a poorly functioning balance mechanism
in the inner ear. This balance mechanism also helps control
eye movements, so often the environment seems to be spinning
around. Most dizziness and vertigo has no definite cause and
is commonly attributed to a viral infection of the inner ear,
especially in young, otherwise healthy people. However, vertigo
may be a sign of stroke, multiple sclerosis, seizures or rarely,
a degenerative neurological disorder. In such conditions,
other symptoms and signs usually accompany the vertigo.
*low blood pressure
*getting blood drawn
*straining during a bowel movement or bladder emptying
*standing up too quickly after lying down or sitting especially
in older people
*pressure on the carotid sinus in the neck (a shirt collar
may be too tight)
*various medications including anti-hypertensives
*heart beating too slow (below 30 times a minute) or too fast
(around 200 times a minute)
*viral infection of the inner ear
*medications, especially tranquilizers, many heart drugs,
anticonvulsants, aspirin, narcotics, sedatives, and others
*classical migraine or common migraine
*drug abuse and dependence
*middle ear surgery or trauma
*tympanic membrane perforation
Follow prescribed treatment for the underlying cause.
The feeling of light-headedness upon standing is one of the
most common causes of temporary blackout or faintness and
becomes more frequent with increasing age. Avoid sudden changes
light-headed feeling without other symptoms is often due to
anxiety, rather than a brain tumor or other hidden disease.
Often people have to learn to live with this problem. If it
is severe, some anti-anxiety medications (benzodiazepines)
can help treat light-headedness and dizziness.
your health care provider if
*There has been complete loss of consciousness.
*The room seems to spin around (vertigo).
*Dizziness is preventing daily activities.
*Medication is the suspected cause. Talk to your health care
provider before taking the next dose of medication.
*Light-headedness lasts for more than three weeks.
*Other symptoms are also present, especially chest pain, numbness
and tingling, or other serious symptoms.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005