Dizziness - Lightheadedness and Vertigo

By Refadoc, Posted on : Tuesday, 15 September 2015 - 10:46 am IST

Dizziness - Lightheadedness and Vertigo - Overview

Dizziness is a term which has been widely used to describe a feeling of weakness and unsteadiness which is accompanied by lightness in the head. Dizziness is mostly convoyed with sense of spinning of the surroundings, which is termed as vertigo.

Dizziness has emerged as one of the major reasons why adults tend to visit the doctors. Though this problem can force you to stay away from your day to day activities, it can also emerge as the harbinger of serious, life threatening conditions most of the time. The treatment options are greatly dependent on the course as well as the symptoms of the problem.

Causes of Dizziness:

Dizziness often leaves a sense of faintness and a feeling of losing the balance.

The duration and the episodes of dizziness can help the doctors in order to pinpoint the real cause. Some of the major reasons for Dizziness are as follows:

Vertigo: This basically results due to the change in the inner ear (vestibular system). The vestibular system is responsible in order to sense the movements as well as the changes in the head position of the person. Vertigo is known to cause nausea, vomiting as well as balance problems in affected people. BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) is one of the reasons for the occurrence of Vertigo as it results in the brief episodes of vertigo which is followed by the change in the head position. Meniere’s Disease is also one of the major reasons for the occurrence of Vertigo as it leads to the creation of an excessive build up of the fluid in the inner ear. This leads to the loss of hearing, ringing sensation in the ear as well as the fullness in the ear affected.

Feeling of Faintness: Dizziness often leads to the person experiencing a feeling of faintness and light headedness. Due to the drop in the blood pressure (Orthostatic Hypertension), a person may experience lightheadedness. Also, due to the inadequate output of the blood from the heart, the blood volume may decrease and this can lead to a feeling of dizziness.

Disequilibrium: This is the loss of the balance or a feeling of unsteadiness. Due to the abnormalities in the inner ear or the sensory disorders, disequilibrium can emerge as one of the major problems. Also, due to some neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease or cerebellar ataxia, Dizziness can emerge to be one of the major problems.

Signs and Symptoms of Dizziness:

Some of the major signs and symptoms of Dizziness are as follows:

  • False sense of motion as well as spinning, vertigo
  • A feeling of light-headedness and fainting
  • Loss of balance
    It is recommended to see a doctor if you are experiencing any of the below mentioned signs and symptoms:
  • Different and severe headaches
  • Head injuries
  • Blurring of the vision
  • Stiffness of the neck
  • Trouble with speech
  • Arm and leg weakness
  • Loss in hearing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Difficulty in walking

Tests and Diagnosis of Dizziness

The following tests are conducted in order to check the person for Dizziness:

Eye Movement Testing: In this, the doctor checks and tracks the path of the eyes following the position of a moving object. A caloric Test can also be administered in which the movement of the eyes is observed when cold or warm water is placed in the ear canal.
Posturography Testing: This test is done by the doctors to determine which parts of the body’s balance system are causing the maximum problem. In this, the patient is required to stand on his bare feet and is told to maintain the balance under various conditions.

Rotary Chair Testing: In this test, the person is required to sit on a computer controlled chair that moves are very slowly completed a full circle. However, as the speed increases, it moves in a small arc.

In some of the rare cases, an MRI can be required in order to look at a detailed structure of the inner ear and to recognize the wide range of conditions from which a person may be suffering.

Also, an MRI is needed in order to rule out the possibilities of a person suffering from non cancerous brain tumors.

Treatment and Drugs for Dizziness:

The treatment option for Dizziness is greatly dependent on the cause as well as the symptoms of the disease.

Some of the most popularly used treatment options are as follows:

BPPV: The treatment of BPPV involves the use of a therapist who can maneuver the position of the head for canalith repositioning. After the initial one or two treatments, this procedure emerges to be highly effective.

Inner Ear Conditions: This makes the use of Balance Retraining exercises in order to treat the acute vestibular neuronitis. These exercises are known to provide immediate relief from nausea and dizziness.

Meniere ’s disease: For the treatment of Meniere’s Disease, the doctor may prescribe a low salt diet in order to reduce the retention of the fluids from the ear. In some of the rare cases, however, injections are given through the eardrum or surgery is performed.

Vestibular Migraine: In order to treat the vestibular migraine, the doctor initially determines the reason for the problem and then the triggers associated with the condition. Certain medications are recommended in order to increase the comfort ability of the person and to relieve the nausea and vomiting. Vestibular Rehabilitation is also provided in order to help the person to make the system less sensitive towards motion.

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