This article first appeared in December 2017. Updated March 2023.
Dizziness is among the most common complaints of patients when they go to a healthcare provider. Before you dismiss it as another harmless dizzy spell, however, recent studies warn you to be more mindful of the symptoms you are experiencing. According to Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA), vertigo accounts for a third of all dizziness complaints reported to medical professionals.
Without a diagnosis, you may never know if that lightheadedness you are experiencing is something you should worry about. If you are in doubt, set an appointment with a neurologist in Leesburg. That said, here are some signs that you should pay more attention to your dizziness.
Frequent Dizzy Spells
If you notice the woozy feeling becoming more frequent as time goes by, there may be a chance that you suffer from vertigo. Vertigo is a condition that causes an illusion of movement, making a patient feel like they are spinning due to the disconnect between the ears and brain. It is also commonly accompanied by auditory symptoms like tinnitus (ringing in the ears), nausea or vomiting. Rapid head movements are known to aggravate the condition.
Some people don’t know that the headache or dizziness they are feeling are signs of a migraine episode. Migraine is often characterized by headaches or dizzy spells that last for more than a few hours at a time and accompanied by temporary hearing loss. Another symptom that could lead to migraine is the inability to see flashing lights or auras.
Heightened Vertigo Severity
Vertigo that gets severe over a period of minutes but lasts for several hours is also another cause of great concern. This is what people with Meniere’s disease feel, along with loss of hearing, loss of balance, headaches, tinnitus, vomiting and more. Meniere’s disease is a chronic condition that affects the inner ear, and therefore a person’s balance and hearing.
Loss of Balance When Standing Up
Feeling off-balance after suddenly sitting down or standing up is a known symptom of postural hypotension or orthostatic hypotension. In this event, a patient experiences a sudden fall in blood pressure, causing a shortage of oxygen to the brain. People with this condition may also feel lightheadedness, weakness, fatigue, nausea and loss of consciousness. Postural hypotension is more common in older people, but it doesn’t usually require treatment unless it is linked to an underlying cause. A neurologist may advise you to exercise caution when changing positions from lying to sitting or standing so that the body can adjust accordingly.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that 20 million children and adults suffer from concussion as a result of sports injury, motor vehicle accidents, blunt force trauma and falls each year. If you suffered from head impact trauma in the past, then the dizziness you’re feeling could very well be a sign of concussion. Patients with concussion often report experiencing symptoms such as nausea, double vision, imbalance, cognitive impairment and hypersensitivity to light along with dizziness.
Don’t wait until your dizziness becomes to unbearable that it affects your daily life. Play it safe and visit experienced doctors from trusted neurological care institutions like Neurology Associates.
ABOUT VESTIBULAR DISORDERS, vestibular.org