Dizziness can range from a fleeting, momentary sensation to a severe loss of balance disorder that makes normal functioning impossible. Nearly half of all adults will have an episode of dizziness serious enough to send them to the doctor.
Dizziness generally refers to three specific sensations:
Describing your dizziness as precisely as possible will make it easier for your doctor to diagnose the cause and treat it.
Some causes of dizziness include:
Inner ear problems
Many cases of dizziness are caused by problems that affect the balance mechanism in your inner ear. Examples include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
- Ear infection (middle ear)
- Meniere's disease
- Motion sickness: First aid
Reduced blood flow
Dizziness can be caused if your brain doesn't receive enough blood. This can occur for a variety of reasons, including:
- Arteriosclerosis / atherosclerosis
- Heart arrhythmias
- Orthostatic hypotension (postural hypotension)
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
Some types of drugs cause dizziness, including some varieties of:
- Anti-seizure drugs
- Drugs to control high blood pressure
Other causes of dizziness
- Generalized anxiety disorder
- Panic attacks and panic disorder
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.