We have all experienced dizziness at one time or another, and we certainly wonder why. Dizzy spells cannot only be uncomfortable, but they can be scary as to the uncertainty of why we are experiencing them. Occasional dizziness in adults in quite common. The sensation of “feeling dizzy” is different for every individual. Most people will equate the feeling of dizziness to that of when you spun around as a child. Vertigo is related to feeling dizzy, but it is a much more serious condition that makes you feel as though the room is spinning as you stand still. Vertigo is also common affecting nearly 40 percent of people over the age of 40 at least once in a lifetime. A key difference is that vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting. Dizziness makes you feel unbalanced momentarily, and dizzy spells can range from mild to debilitating.
Dizziness is one of the most common patient complaints reported to doctors.
Dizzy spells can also be caused by BPPV, which stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. This is caused by the calcium and protein sensing crystals located in your inner ear to become dislodged and float into your inner ear canals. This will cause a brief spinning sensation. This can be corrected with Physical Therapy and not surgery. This affects 1 in 1,000 people per year. It primarily affects older adults, but it has been linked to trauma, inner ear infections, diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis. After Physical Therapy, a patient may experience a reoccurrence within five years.
Our inner ear balance system contributes to the control of our blood flow, so when we move too quickly from laying down to standing, the inner ear detects gravity, directs our blood flow to accommodate that change in position, and when that goes awry, it may cause dizziness.
Low Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin to several neurological problems including a decreased blood flow to the brain, low blood pressure, and that feeling of being off balance. Low B12 is easy to treat but often overlooked as a symptom of dizziness.
Anxiety is another factor in feeling dizziness. When you experience dizziness from anxiety, it is not your ‘spinning’ dizziness, but it is more of a feeling of being ‘out or sorts’ with visual disturbances that creates your feeling of dizziness. Many people do not want to hear that anxiety causes this for fear of it ‘being in their head’, but it may be a combination of the dizzy feeling causing fear of the unknown or it just might be in your head – your inner ear.
Mild dehydration can cause dizziness because your blood pressure drops which leads to dizzy spells or a feeling of being light-headed. It can also be a side effect of medication. There are less common causes of dizziness that are rare that should be addressed by your doctor if your dizziness continues.