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When is Dizziness Concerning?

When is Dizziness Concerning?

Dizziness is a feeling we’ve all had from time to time. Although it’s incredibly common, dizziness can also indicate a serious problem when it’s accompanied by other symptoms or when it’s ongoing. Feeling dizzy usually indicates one of conditions: lightheadedness or vertigo.

Lightheadedness can cause you to feel dizzy or as if you are about to pass out, but not as though your surroundings are moving. Lightheadedness tends to go away once you lie down and is often caused by a quick drop in blood pressure, dehydration, or low iron intake.

Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when neither actually is. Feeling as though you're off-balance or tilting could be an indicator of vertigo. Vertigo is caused by an inner ear disorder and it is a treatable condition.

Occasional lightheadedness can be caused by these factors:

  • A quick drop in blood pressure (like when you stand up too fast)
  • Allergies
  • Anemia (low iron)
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Consuming alcohol, THC, or tobacco
  • Dehydration
  • Heavy periods
  • Illness or infection
  • Some medications

Vertigo can be brought on by:

  • Allergies
  • Infections such as mastoiditis
  • Injuries to the head or inner ear
  • Migraines
  • Perilyph fistulas

When is dizziness serious?

Dizziness alone is often not much cause for concern, especially if it passes after a few moments. However, if you experience any of the symptoms below, seek medical care immediately:

  • A sudden change in hearing
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion or slurred speech
  • Difficulty walking or stumbling
  • Double vision
  • Facial numbness or weakness
  • Fainting
  • Fever over 101 degrees
  • Headache that's sudden or severe
  • Numbness or paralysis of arms or legs
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting

Should I see a doctor for vertigo?

If you feel like you're off-balance or like the ground is tilting for several weeks, seek medical care. Since vertigo is an inner ear condition, it’s highly treatable with help from an ENT or an Audiologist. In fact, some vertigo treatments are as simple as repositioning the head (called Canalith Repositioning Treatment). Vertigo is not something you just “have to live with”. Ogden Clinic has full-service ENT specialties with Audiologists in Ogden, Layton, and Bountiful Utah.