We’ve all felt dizziness at some point. Whether it was spinning around in circles until you fell down as a child or standing up too quickly as an adult, that slightly disoriented, off-kilter feeling is familiar. But when is it a natural reaction and when is it cause for concern?
Different Types of Dizziness
For starters, did you know that there are actually three categories of dizziness? The most severe is vertigo, which is caused by problems in the inner ear and usually characterized by feelings of intense spinning and nausea, particularly when the sufferer changes positions. In severe cases of vertigo, episodes can last for hours, days or even weeks, and could cause permanent hearing loss.
Another category is unsteadiness, imbalance or falling. This type is more commonly associated with a drop in blood pressure after changing positions too quickly. A decrease in balance also tends to happen as you age, so extra caution may be necessary for the older population.
Lastly, fainting is where someone briefly loses consciousness. It may be caused by low blood pressure or certain medications, such as beta blockers. Fainting also can signal other more serious conditions and disorders, so make an appointment to speak with your doctor if you experience a fainting spell.
How to Treat Your Dizziness
In general, being dizzy and vertigo are not cause for serious concern, especially if they aren’t occurring with any other symptoms. So what should you do?
Clean up your diet
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to struggle with balance problems, so eating a well-balanced (pun intended) diet and losing weight can help ward off dizzy spells.
Eat less salt
Your inner ear is sensitive to salt (sodium), so reducing your intake can help, especially if you suffer from regular vertigo.
Being physically fit can improve your balance and promote stability. Specific balance exercises like tai chi and yoga are even recommended for older adults who are interested in improving their balance.
Consider mentioning it to your doctor
Even though there is probably a perfectly normal reason for your dizziness, mentioning your experiences to your doctor at your next checkup may be a good idea. As with any health concern, getting your doctor’s opinion is never a bad idea and can offer you peace of mind, in addition to other potential treatment options.