Dizziness - symptoms and causes (2023)

general description

Dizziness is a term used to describe a variety of sensations such as: B. Dizziness, dizziness, weakness or unsteadiness. Dizziness that creates the false sensation that you or those around you are spinning or moving is called dizziness.

Dizziness is one of the most common reasons adults see their doctor. Frequent dizziness or constant dizziness can significantly affect your life. But dizziness rarely indicates a life-threatening condition.

Treatment for dizziness depends on the cause and your symptoms. It is usually effective, but the problem may recur.


People who suffer from vertigo can describe it as one of several sensations, such as:

  • A false sense of movement or rotation (vertigo)
  • dizziness or weakness
  • Uncertainty or loss of balance
  • Feeling of floating, seas or seas

These feelings can be triggered or aggravated by walking, standing up, or moving your head. Your dizziness may be accompanied by nausea or be so sudden or so severe that you have to sit or lie down. The episode may last seconds or days and may recur.

When to the doctor

In general, contact your doctor if you experience recurrent, sudden, severe, or persistent unexplained dizziness or dizziness.

Seek emergency medical attention if you develop new, severe dizziness or dizziness along with any of the following:

  • Sudden severe headache
  • chest pain
  • labored breathing
  • Numbness or paralysis of arms or legs
  • fainting
  • double vision
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
  • Confusion or difficulty speaking
  • stumbling or difficulty walking
  • constant vomiting
  • seizures
  • A sudden change in hearing.
  • numbness or weakness in the face

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inner ear and balance

Dizziness - symptoms and causes (1)

inner ear and balance

Loop-shaped canals in your inner ear contain delicate, hair-like fluid sensors that help you keep your balance. At the base of the canals are the utricle and saccule, each containing a patch of sensory hair cells. Inside these cells are tiny particles (otoconia) that help control the head's position in relation to gravity and linear movements, e.g. B. when going up and down in an elevator or going back and forth in a car.

Dizziness has many possible causes, including inner ear disorders, dizziness, and the effects of medication. Sometimes it's caused by an underlying health condition, such as poor circulation, infection, or injury.

Dizziness and its triggers provide clues to possible causes. The duration of the dizziness and any other symptoms you are experiencing will also help identify the cause.

Inner ear problems causing dizziness (vertigo)

Your sense of balance depends on the combined input of the different parts of your sensory system. This includes your:

  • Eyes,to help you determine where your body is in space and how it is moving
  • sensory nerves,which send messages to your brain about body movements and positions
  • inner ear,Housing sensors that help detect gravity and reciprocating motion

Dizziness is the false sensation that your surroundings are spinning or moving. With inner ear disorders, your brain receives signals from the inner ear that don't match what your eyes and sensory nerves receive. Dizziness occurs when your brain works to clear the confusion.

  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).This condition causes a brief but false intense sensation that you are spinning or moving. These episodes are triggered by a rapid change in head movement, e.g. B. turning over in bed, sitting up, or getting a blow to the head.VPPBit is the most common cause of dizziness.
  • Infection.A viral infection of the vestibular nerve, called vestibular neuritis, can cause severe and persistent dizziness. If you also have sudden hearing loss, you may have labyrinthitis.
  • Morbus Menière.This disease consists of excessive accumulation of fluid in the inner ear. It is characterized by sudden attacks of dizziness lasting several hours. You may also experience fluctuating hearing loss, ringing in the ear, and a stuffy ear sensation.
  • Migraine.People who suffer from migraines may experience dizzy spells or other types of dizziness even if they don't have a severe headache. Such dizzy spells can last minutes to hours and can be accompanied by headaches and sensitivity to light and noise.

Circulatory problems that cause dizziness.

You may feel dizzy, faint, or off balance if your heart isn't pumping enough blood to your brain. Causes include:

  • drop in blood pressure.A dramatic drop in your systolic blood pressure (the highest reading on your blood pressure reading) may cause you to feel dizzy or faint for a moment. It can occur after sitting down or standing up too quickly. This condition is also known as orthostatic hypotension.
  • Poor circulation.Conditions such as cardiomyopathy, heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias, and transient ischemic attacks can cause dizziness. And a decrease in blood volume can lead to insufficient blood flow to the brain or inner ear.

Other causes of dizziness

  • neurological conditions.Some neurological disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, can lead to a progressive loss of balance.
  • medicationDizziness can be a side effect of certain medications, such as anticonvulsants, antidepressants, tranquilizers, and tranquilizers. Blood pressure lowering medications in particular can cause fainting if they lower your blood pressure too much.
  • anxiety disorders.Certain anxiety disorders can cause lightheadedness, or a feeling of lightheadedness, which is often referred to as dizziness. These include panic attacks and fear of leaving the house or being in large, open spaces (agoraphobia).
  • Low iron levels (anaemia).Other signs and symptoms that may accompany dizziness when you have anemia include tiredness, weakness, and pale skin.
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).This condition usually occurs in people with diabetes who use insulin. Dizziness (drowsiness) may be accompanied by sweating and anxiety.
  • carbon monoxide poisoning.Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often described as "flu-like" and include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.
  • overheating and dehydration.If you're active in hot weather or don't drink enough fluids, you may experience dizziness due to overheating (hyperthermia) or dehydration. This is especially true if you take certain heart medications.

risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of dizziness include:

  • Alter.Older adults are more likely to suffer from disorders that cause dizziness, particularly a feeling of imbalance. They are also more likely to take medications that can cause dizziness.
  • A previous episode of dizziness.If you have suffered from dizziness before, you are more likely to experience dizziness in the future.


Dizziness can increase the risk of falling and injuring yourself. Dizziness while driving or operating heavy machinery can increase the risk of an accident. They can also have long-term consequences if an existing medical condition that could be causing your dizziness is not treated.

By Mayo Clinic staff

December 03, 2022


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