What is giddiness?
Giddiness, also known as lightheadedness or dizziness, is the feeling of being unbalanced in the head, as though the surroundings are spinning or reeling.
This might also make one feel as though they are going to faint, further causing nausea or vomiting. It generally has a direct temporary effect on the sensory organs such as eyes and ears. Although, giddiness is not a disease by itself, it could be a cause of an underlying disease.
Symptoms of giddiness
Giddiness by itself could be a symptom of many other underlying diseases. However, the sensations experienced while one is feeling giddy could be:
- Feeling faint or light headedness
- A sense of spinning
- Loss of body balance or unsteadiness
- A feeling of floating in the air
Nausea, vomiting or fainting is often accompanied with giddiness. In case, you experience these giddiness symptoms for a prolonged period of time, it is best advised to seek medical help. Your doctor can determine your giddiness diagnosis and help you with a suitable treatment for the same.
Who is at risk
Below mentioned people are at higher risk
- Over 50 years old
- Women are at higher risk than men
- Suffered Head injury
- Taking certain medications like antidepressants
- Having family history of giddiness
Causes of giddiness
Migraine and alcohol could be common causes of dizziness, however, certain medications may also cause this condition. Other underlying reason could be a problem in the inner ear, the area which regulates balance in the body. People with vertigo often experience giddiness as well. The benign positional vertigo causes short-term giddiness when someone stands up too quickly from a sitting or sleeping position.
There are many other possible reasons that can cause giddiness. Some of the other common giddiness causes may include:
- Low bp or a sudden drop in blood pressure
- Heart related diseases
- A decrease in the volume of blood
- Anxiety or other mental health disorders
- Low levels of iron in the body or anemia
- Low blood sugar levels – hypoglycemia
- Infection in the ear
- Heat stroke
- Excessive wear out through exercise
- Motion sickness
Multiple Sclerosis such as a stroke, a tumor or a brain disorder could also cause giddiness in rare cases.
How is Giddiness diagnosed
If the doctor suspects that you may have suffered a stroke or a head injury, an MRI or CTI scan will be recommended. Doctor may conduct various exams to check your balance:
- Eye movement testing
- Head movement testing
- Rotary chair testing
In addition to that, blood tests may also be recommended
Treatments for giddiness
The underlying cause of giddiness needs to be treated. Generally, home remedies and basic medications can help in controlling giddiness. Some treatments are based on the underlying causes and the types of giddiness:
- Inner-ear issues – home remedies and medications that help in controlling balance
- BPV (benign positional vertigo ) – can be resolved with regular motions practiced that can reduce the effect of symptoms. In cases where the BPV is not controlled, surgery is a good option.
- In case of the Maniere’s disease, a low salt diet and occasional injections may help.
- Migraines are treated with medications and lifestyle changes, such as learning to identify and avoid migraine triggers.
- Migraines – medications and simple lifestyle changes. Identifying and avoid migraine triggers is important.
- Anxiety-reducing techniques such as medication can help with giddiness caused due to anxiety
- In case of dehydration – consuming plenty of fluids help with avoiding dehydration, in turn giddiness
How to prevent giddiness?
If you experience recurrent bouts of giddiness, here are a few steps that you can follow for giddiness revention:
- Rest by sitting or lying down immediately until the feeling of giddiness goes away. This can prevent you from losing your balance and falling, which could possibly cause head injury at times
- In serious cases, use a cane or walker to gain stability
- Get a grip of handrails while climbing up or down the stairs
- Practice Yoga, Tai Chi or any activity that helps improve balance
- Avoid switching positions all of a sudden
- Caffeine, alcohol or tobacco could be triggers for giddiness, avoid consuming them if you experience the feeling often
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day to avoid dehydration
- Get enough rest by sleeping for at least 7-8 hours a day
- Eat nutritious and healthful food
- Avoid stress and anxiety inducing situations
- If you feel that your dizziness could be caused due to a medication, talk to your doctor about the same. They will probably lower the prescription or switch to an alternative medicine for giddiness
It is important that you consult your general physician and talk about the frequency and severity of your giddiness, in order to understand and determine the reasons for giddiness and get it treated.