Dizziness is a feeling or sensation that the surrounding us is spinning and the person is feeling light-headed, delusional, hyperventilated, etc. Dizziness is typical and s nothing to be concerned about. Many people suffer from dizziness due to other prevalent medical conditions. Many of the diseases with which a person is diagnosed can cause dizziness.

The human body collaborates to keep a person balanced, and when there is a problem with any of the parts like the eyes, brain, inner ear, nerves in the feet, spine, etc. the person may feel disoriented. Vertigo is also one of the conditions of dizziness and the reason for it is that one of those systems is malfunctioning. If it causes you to fall, it could be deadly and a sign of something more serious.

Dizziness is normally distinguished into four types −

  • Vertigo. It is a feeling that everything surrounding the person is spinning and in reality, it is not. It can cause several symptoms like fainting, nausea, vomiting, etc.

  • Presyncope. It is a feeling of being weak, it originates from syncope which means fainting.

  • Disequilibrium. It means getting off balance, in this type the patient feels everything around is off balance and may not have symptoms of vertigo.

  • Last, the type of dizziness is due to psychiatric reasons. In this, a patient may have excessive and fast breathing called hyperventilation.

Dizziness: Causes

The reasons for dizziness are multiple. It is not a disease, it is due to a prevailing health condition. Dizziness can be caused by problems in the eye, ear, muscles, joints, and skin.

The following are the important causes of developing dizziness −

  • BPPV (Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). In this condition, a person experiences dizziness when he bends or tilts his head or body. It may happen due to a person getting older or due to a head injury, it is usually harmless and last for seconds. Calcium crystals present in the inner ear move in this condition.

  • Meniere’s syndrome. In this syndrome, a person will experience vertigo-like symptoms for several hours which is very painful. It happens due to the accumulation of fluids in the ear. A patient will also have hearing problems, plugged ear, and feel constant ringing in the ear. This condition needs immediate treatment.

  • Ear infection. Any infections whether bacterial or virus in the ear can cause dizziness, it also causes ringing or hearing problems. This infection affects the nerves responsible for sending messages of hearing and balance to the brain and hence, the dizziness problem occurs.

  • Heart and vascular system. Low blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, and any problem with arteries can also cause dizziness.

  • Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease can cause dizziness.

  • Some personality disorders like bipolar disorder are also responsible for dizziness.

  • Weather. Hot and humid climates can cause dizziness and dehydration.

  • Anaemia and other blood-related diseases in which a patient has low iron in the body.

  • Some of the medicines which are prescribed to a patient can cause dizziness.

  • A person who drinks alcohol may experience dizziness.

Dizziness: Symptoms

The patient with dizziness mainly presents with the following symptoms that include −

  • Feeling like everything around me is spinning.

  • Fear of getting fallen.

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Headache and lightness in head.

  • The ringing of the ear.

  • Unable to make sense of everything around.

  • Unable to breathe properly.

  • Low/ high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat.

  • Confusion, loss of sensation.

  • Migraine.

  • Faintness.

  • Loss of vision, blurred vision.

Dizziness: Risk Factors

Several factors play an important role in the development of dizziness which includes −

  • Age. Older people are easily more at risk for dizziness as they are suffering from several other diseases.

  • Medications. A person already diagnoses with diseases like carbon monoxide poisoning, Alzheimer, bipolar disorder, etc. experiences more dizziness.

  • Alcohol. A person who is a regular drinker is more at risk.

  • Infections. Patients with ear infections are obviously at risk as the nerves responsible for balance get inflamed and the messages to the brain are not being sent clearly.

Dizziness: Diagnosis

The diagnosis of dizziness is mainly done based on history and some tests may be required for confirmation and to rule out underlying causes.

Your medical examiner will ask questions about the time of occurrence of dizziness and the time for which it remains. They will also examine your body parts like ears, eyes, skin, etc. for infection.

  • Motion checks. He will ask you to rotate your eye and check whether it has any effect on you. Also, the head rotation will be done to check for vertigo.

  • Balance tests. These tests help determine if you have problems with your inner ear or an infection. Some of the methods of testing include −

    • CDP test (Computerized dynamic posturography)

    • Romberg test

    • Electronystagmography test (ENG)

    • Videonystagmography test (VNG)

    • Rotary test

  • Hearing test. Ear infections are one of the most important causes of dizziness. Various tests are conducted to check if the inflammation is the reason. Some of the tests are the otoacoustic emissions test, tympanometry, and electrocochleography.

  • Cardiac tests. Since cardiac problems can also cause dizziness, therefore, cardiac tests are also conducted.

Dizziness: Treatment

Dizziness occurs due to a disease with which a person is already diagnosed. It is necessary to find out the reason for dizziness. Once, the underlying disease has been diagnosed then, the doctor will treat it and the dizziness may go away. Medicines are usually prescribed for treatment, and if the ear has some infections, then ear drops can be given. Medicines for migraine are also effective in this disease.

Dizziness: Prevention

Dizziness attacks occur for seconds or a minute and are not life-threatening but the patient if not careful may fall and cause harm to himself. It is not the dizziness that is harmful, but the accidents it causes. It is necessary to recognize the early symptoms and prevent some harmful damage to the self. Some of the prevention methods are −

  • Never drive when you are experiencing dizziness. Stop your vehicle and park it safely.

  • Avoid sudden standing or walking.

  • Take rest immediately on feeling any episodes of dizziness.

  • Do not have alcohol.

  • Drink plenty of fluids when working in a hot climate.

  • Do not take without the consultation of a doctor and if you are having dizziness due to medicines consult your doctor.

  • If your condition is not stable use a walking aid.

  • Always inform your colleague or family members about your condition.

  • In case of any infection of the ear, or any problem related to the ear do not overlook it.

  • Avoid coffee or tobacco.

  • Eat plenty of green leaves for increasing iron in your blood.

  • Exercise daily.


Dizziness is the sensation of things moving around even if everything around is standing still. It may happen due to underlying medical conditions, weather, or medications. There are many reasons responsible for dizziness. An ear infection is one of the most important causes which attacks the nerves responsible for the balance.

Dizziness, once diagnosed correctly, can be treated. Prevention of accidents due to dizziness attack is very important and certain precautionary measures need to be taken.

Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha
Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha


Updated on: 18-Apr-2023


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