When it comes to dizziness, everyone seems to have an opinion.
Dizziness can be a little problematic, but it is also quite common among adults.
Its causes range from some illnesses to dehydration, lack of sleep, low blood sugar, & low blood pressure.
Dizziness can also have lots of other causes, too. It is also possible for you to feel dizzy now & then without any adequate reason.
However, dizziness can also be associated with vertigo. Vertigo is the sensation of moving or spinning even when there is no external movement present.
You may feel as if you’re dizzy, nauseous, & sitting on a merry-go-round.
Depending on the exact kind of vertigo disorder you’re experiencing, your symptoms may come & go or differ in frequency & intensity.
However, most people still don’t know much about dizziness and vertigo, or where they originate from.
Different conditions can give rise to vertigo & dizziness disorders. These conditions also affect different parts of the body, aside from the inner ear which is responsible for a majority of vertigo cases.
There is a possibility that you don’t know about most of these conditions that cause dizziness & vertigo. Below, we tell you the top 10 surprising facts about dizziness & vertigo you might not have known before!
1. The inner ear is to blame for most cases of vertigo & dizziness
Inner ear infections and other issues are often the reason for most vertigo & dizziness cases. There are tiny calcium crystals in the middle ear called otoconia. However, when they accidentally get lodged inside the ear canal of the inner ear, they can lead to problems with vestibular function.
These crystals are motion-sensitive, which means that they move with any changes in the position of the head with respect to gravity.
They don’t cause any problems in their original position in the middle ear. However, that is not true once they find their way inside the semicircular canal.
These crystals can cause brief, false sensations of spinning & movements in patients when they move their head or stand up, lay down too quickly, etc.
This is referred to as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV). BPPV is one of the leading causes of dizziness and vertigo symptoms in older adults. It can also happen to young adults & children, although it is relatively less common.
Inner ear infections, trauma, migraines, diabetes, & osteoporosis have all been linked to BPPV. BPPV treatment generally includes medications, canalith repositioning exercises like the Epley Maneuver, Brandt-Daroff exercises, etc., & home remedies.
In certain cases, surgery might be necessary if the symptoms don’t go away even after all the other treatment options.
2. The ear is responsible for controlling blood flow in the body
When we change positions, like sit up or lie down, our ear instructs the circulatory system to adjust the blood flow accordingly. This is done to ensure you are able to stand or sit properly without feeling disoriented due to problems with the blood supply.
When the ears don’t work properly, either due to an infection or injury, the circulatory system doesn’t work that well adjusting to the direction of the motion.
This can lead to dizziness and disorientation when you perform sudden movements like sitting down quickly, getting up quickly, or walking after sitting for long.
3. Vitamin B12 deficiency is also a factor
Vitamin B12 deficiency is also a factor in dizziness and vertigo.
Low levels of this vitamin may cause a range of neurological issues. These include dizziness, low blood pressure, & reduced blood flow to the brain among others.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be easily detected with the help of blood tests. To correct it, you need to include more meat, dairy products, & fortified breakfast cereals in your daily diet.
4. Feeling dizzy? It might be heart disease!
The heart pumps blood throughout the body & maintains a steady blood supply to all organs.
But when a person has heart disease, this blood supply gets interrupted & haphazard. With the heart unable to pump blood properly, the body’s organs can’t function very well with limited blood supply.
Dizziness & vertigo-like symptoms might ensue for some people with heart disease, as the blood supply towards the brain gets disrupted.
Thus, if you feel that you have been dizzy for a long time & are also feeling tired & nauseous, you must get your heart checked.
5. Migraines can also be a reason for your vertigo
Migraine is another common cause of dizziness & vertigo. Migraines that occur without a headache can also cause dizziness disorders & vertigo.
Doctors link it to the faulty neurons that fire during migraine episodes. It can explain why some vertigo & dizziness patients report sensitivity to light & sound during an attack.
When you present with vertigo & dizziness that doesn’t go away on its own, your doctor might prescribe you migraine medicine to bring it under control.
6. Anxiety is also related to dizziness & vertigo disorders
Anxiety is related to feeling dizzy and other vertigo-like symptoms. When we get anxious, our body’s fight-or-flight mechanism gets activated. This causes the increased blood supply to the vital organs and suspension of other activities that are not important for survival.
A sudden increase in blood supply can cause high blood pressure, which further leads to dizziness, headaches, nausea, & other vertigo-like symptoms.
In some cases, it is seen that fast-moving cars or constantly changing surroundings can also trigger dizziness in an anxious patient.
The same goes for flashing lights, as they can also cause dizziness & migraine headaches in people with anxiety.
7. Sea travel can also cause dizziness
A lot of us have heard about seasickness. It is a condition that causes people traveling via the sea to vomit & get dizzy uncontrollably.
Seasickness can also cause vertigo-like symptoms including headaches, disorientation, & migraines in people.
This is often due to the dehydration that people experience after vomiting continuously.
Most motion sickness medications can help people with seasickness. You should take them a few hours prior to traveling via sea & only after consulting with your doctor.
8. Medications could also be the reason
There are certain medications that have dizziness & vertigo as a side effect. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, antihistamines, & certain antibiotics can cause a person to feel dizzy & out of sorts.
If your doctor believes medication is the reason for your dizziness and vertigo disorders, they can reduce its dosage. In some cases, they might also recommend you an alternative medication in its place.
However, it’s important to not stop taking any medication even if you feel dizziness as a side effect. Always consult with your doctor first before making a decision.
9. Feeling dizzy? Dehydration could be the cause!
If you’re feeling dizzy all of a sudden and you can’t remember the last time you had something to eat or drink,-then dehydration may be the cause.
Not drinking enough water during the day & not eating enough are common causes of dizziness disorders and vertigo.
Ensure that you drink at least 8 liters of water every day & eat before carrying on with everyday activities.
10. Dizziness is common, but shouldn’t be taken lightly
Although everyone can get dizzy from time to time, it’s best not to take any dizziness cases lightly. If you find yourself getting dizzy repeatedly without any proper cause, it’s time to visit a doctor.
Although rare, dizziness can signal a heart issue, neurological problems, & stroke.
It’s important to consider any signs & symptoms that occur along with dizziness to reach a proper decision.
If along with dizziness, you experience symptoms like facial paralysis, slurred speech/movement, loss of consciousness, seizures, &/or rapid heart palpitations, it might be a more serious issue.
Visit the emergency department of your nearest hospital right away & ensure to get proper consultation from a doctor.
BPPV Vertigo books are available on vertigo & Ear Clinic. All about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Epley maneuver is mentioned in the book & Ebook.