Thursday, November 21, 2013
Article # 564. Dizzy Spells
Dizzy spells can be caused due to various reasons ranging from an insufficient supply of blood to the brain, low blood pressure, vertigo, infection in the inner ear, to the use of certain drugs. The following write-up provides information on the contributory factors behind frequent episodes of dizziness.
Dizziness is rarely a cause for concern and is very common in adults. There could be a variety of factors that lead to dizziness, and only in rare cases, does it imply a serious condition. In severe cases, frequent dizziness can affect an individual's ability to perform daily functions. The treatment for dizziness depends on the cause and severity of the condition.
Causes of Dizziness
Dizziness is characterized by vertigo, faintness, and loss of balance. Some common causes of each of these key sensations are as follows:
1. Vertigo: The sensation of vertigo occurs when the nerves of the vestibular system are affected. The vestibular system is a part of the inner ear which regulates balance. These structures are sensitive to movement and changes in the position of the head. Vertigo may also trigger nausea, vomiting, and trouble in balancing. The common causes of vertigo include:
· Inner ear Inflammation: When the inner ear gets infected or inflamed, vertigo may occur suddenly and may persist for many days. Labyrinthitis is a condition which leads to sudden loss of hearing along with vertigo.
· Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: This is a condition which leads to short bouts of vertigo when there is a change in head position or while sitting up in the morning.
· Acoustic Neuroma: This is a benign growth which develops on the nerve that connects the inner ear and brain. It may lead to tinnitus, imbalances and dizziness.
· Meniere's Disease: This is a rare condition that is associated with excessive fluid buildup in the inner ear.
· Migrainous Vertigo: Some individuals may experience vertigo during a migraine.
· Vertigo, in rare cases, may be associated with neurological problems and may accompany other symptoms such as blurry vision, speech impairment, and severe imbalance.
2. Faintness: A feeling of faintness may sometimes be accompanied by nausea and clamminess. It may be caused by any of the following:
· Low Blood Pressure: A sudden drop in blood pressure may bring about a feeling of faintness. This may happen when you stand up suddenly.
· Reduced Blood Output from the Heart: Conditions of the heart muscles, irregular heart rhythm, or a drop in blood volume can affect the flow of blood from the heart and lead to faintness.
3. Loss of Balance: It is also referred to as disequilibrium and leads to a sensation of unsteadiness. Some common causes include:
· Conditions of the Inner Ear: Such conditions can make you feel faint or unsteady while walking.
· Conditions that Affect the Sensory Nerves: Balance may be affected when there is nerve damage.
· Neurological Problems: Conditions such as Parkinson’s disease can lead to a gradual loss of balance.
· Medications: The intake of certain medications such as sedatives can results in side effects which include dizziness.
You may also experience dizziness due to anxiety disorders. Individuals who suffer from panic attacks may sometimes complain of feeling of heavy-headed or dizzy.