There are common causes of dizziness which are not dangerous to human health, they include:
- alcohol intoxication;
- side effects from taking medications (check the instructions!);
- overheating and thermal shock;
- traveling in a car, bus or ship;
- anemia – low level of iron in the blood;
- hypoglycemia – low level of sugar in the blood;
- low blood pressure;
- excessively intense physical activity;
- ear infections.
No doubt, dizziness is always unpleasant. But in the situations listed above these are short-term symptoms which do not threaten life. And the accompanying symptoms make it possible to find the causes of malaise.
But there are also the conditions that can pose a real threat to human health and even life. In such conditions dizziness may represent the most important sign.
When dizziness is dangerous
Neurologists identify six conditions in which vertigo is the key and almost the only symptom, allowing to detect the development of a serious, but still hidden, disease.
- The dizziness happens often and lasts longer than a few minutes
This may indicate a serious disorder of the inner ear. For example, it may be the sign of vestibular neuritis (viral infection of vestibular nerve) or labyrinthite (internal otitis).Such diseases are dangerous because at first they can be almost asymptomatic, and in the future their pathogens can affect the brain and the nervous system leading up to a lethal outcome.
- Vertigo is accompanied by acute weakness, numbness of the body, problems with speech and / or vision
Caution: this combination of symptoms can be a sign of a stroke! Stroke is a disorder of the cerebral blood circulation.
Be sure to examine the person who experiences this kind of dizziness using a one-minute test:
- Ask the person to smile broadly, showing one’s teeth. If a person has a stroke, the smile will not be symmetrical: the corners of the lips will freeze at different angles.
- Ask the person to close one’s eyes and raise hands. Stroke (or disorders in the work of nerve endings and muscle weakness caused by it) will not allow the person to raise hands to the same height.
- Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence of several words after you. For example: “I’m all right, and now it will become obvious.” If there was a stroke, it will be hard for a person to remember and reproduce the whole phrase. In addition, the pronunciation will be unclear, with an obvious lisp on voiced consonants.
Similarly, you can test yourself
If at least one task is performed poorly, call an ambulance right away. Stroke is extremely dangerous.
- You always feel dizzy when you get up
Short-term orthostatic hypotension (lowering of blood pressure, including in the brain, which causes dizziness) is a fairly common state.Most often it is due to the fact that the body lacks fluid. Mild dehydration makes the blood become thicker, blood circulation becomes worse, and therefore it is easy to earn orthostatic hypotension when getting on the feet from a lying or sitting position. Such problem is resolved easily: do not forget to drink water, especially in hot summer period or during serious physical exertion.
But if you are absolutely sure that you do not have dehydration, and dizziness happens each time you get up, you should visit the therapist as soon as possible. Such symptoms indicate possible cardiovascular diseases (arrhythmia, heart failure) or neuropathy – non-inflammatory nerve damage.
- You have had bouts of unbearable headaches
Many people are familiar with the word “migraine”, but most believe that it is only a pulsating headache. Meanwhile, this is not quite the case: prolonged recurring dizziness can also be a migraine.This psychoneurological disorder is potentially life-threatening as it can lead to a stroke or a heart attack.
If your dizziness lasts for several hours or more, they occur regularly, and you experienced severe headache in the past, be sure to consult a therapist to determine their possible causes and consequences of this symptom.
- You recently hit your head
Vertigo is one of the most striking symptoms of concussion. It is important to contact the therapist as soon as possible to avoid serious damage and swelling of the tissues.
- You are constantly dizzy during training
Most often the already mentioned dehydration is to blame for such condition. It also might be a hyperventilation: rapid breathing increases the oxygen level in the blood and decrease carbon dioxide levels which causes dizziness. Therefore it is important to drink the prescribed amount of liquid and not have too much cardio training.
If you are sure that you drink your norm of water, and you get dizzy even during simple exercises, go to the doctor. In this case, it is necessary to exclude the possibility of potentially dangerous cardiovascular disorders.