Feeling out of sorts is a common experience many go through from time to time. When the feeling escalates into dizziness, it can trigger thoughts like, “Is there something seriously wrong?” or, “Why am I dizzy?” When sudden dizziness occurs frequently or is accompanied by severe symptoms that impair your everyday functioning, it should not be taken lightly, and urgent care should be considered.
Causes of Dizziness
There are a number of reasons why people experience dizziness. Understanding the causes of dizziness can assist in providing some peace of mind about the necessary course of action.
One of the most common causes of dizziness is a quick movement of the head, compelling tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear to move around. When this happens, a doctor carefully shifts the patient’s head and body to return the crystals to their proper place.
Another reason for dizziness may be Meniere’s disease, a disease of the inner ear causing vertigo. It is often diagnosed by number and frequency of symptoms but also with hearing tests, MRIs and CT scans. Doctors treat it with medications, dietary restrictions and other lifestyle changes to improve the condition.
If you start feeling dizzy while exercising, it could be a symptom of dehydration. The dizziness sensation might be accompanied by lightheadedness, confusion, little to no urination, weakness and extreme thirst. If these symptoms are present, a healthcare professional may opt to do a full physical exam or a complete blood count test, also known as a CBC blood test. This test evaluates a patient’s comprehensive health condition and gives the doctor guidance on how to proceed with treatment or diagnosis.
Certain blood pressure medications have a side effect of dizziness and should always be considered in instances where it is relevant. In more serious cases, blood pressure can be elevated enough for concern of stroke. If an individual is suddenly having trouble walking or keeping his balance, healthcare professionals can perform a blood pressure test to check the patient’s systolic and diastolic readings to ensure levels are OK.
Head injuries, stress and anxiety attacks can also be culprits of extreme dizziness or post-traumatic vertigo. Whatever the cause, an evaluation is recommended to accurately pinpoint the root and treat the issue appropriately.
Urgent Dizziness Symptoms
Often, extreme dizziness is accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- Faintness or actual fainting
- Weakness or fatigue
- Sensations of spinning, rocking or whirling
- Feeling off balance
- Headache or head pressure
- Chest pain or tightness
- Nausea or vomiting
Because serious life-threatening illnesses can start with dizziness, medical attention and advice should be sought if any of the following symptoms are evident:
- Severe dizziness (the first time it happens)
- Worsening or new symptoms
- Any dizziness after taking new prescription medications, or any recent changes in previous prescriptions
- Shortness of breath
- High fever
- Pale skin
- Chest pain or palpitations
- Slurred speech or an inability to walk straight
- Numbness or tingling
Acute dizziness, even if it only happens once, should be taken seriously and checked out by a medical physician. If you experience sudden dizziness, contact us at Physicians Now immediately. Our trusted healthcare professionals will work with you to diagnose your symptoms professionally and with care to ensure your well-being.