Dizziness: When Should You Be Worried?

Dizziness is not a problem you can ignore. It can affect people differently, depending on the severity of their health condition. Dizziness is not just a condition, but an important “symptom” of underlying health conditions.

Share with your patients the important information on various reasons that cause dizziness, preventive measures, and treatment strategies to avoid an emergency.

Dehydration

Dehydration happens if you don’t drink enough or you lose too much fluid. Due to this, your blood pressure drops and the nervous system can’t control it well, making you faint.

Hence, it is essential to drink plenty of water, especially during summers. If your pee isn’t clear, it indicates you should increase your water intake.

Irregular Heartbeat

Arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat slows the flow and amount of blood that reaches your brain, which can make you faint. Other problems like damaged heart muscle, blocked or narrowed blood vessels stop blood loaded with oxygen from getting to your brain. This condition is called cardiac syncope. It might happen without warning, sometimes repeatedly for weeks.

Consult the doctor right away if you suspect chest pain, arrhythmia, fatigue, or other symptoms.

Pallid Breath-Holding

This usually happens in children. A sudden fright or pain causes the heart to stop for a few seconds. With this, the child might open his mouth before turning very pale and passing out (fainting) for about a minute. Pallid breath-holding may also happen when a child gets hurt.

It’s not the injury itself that causes this automatic response, but the shock caused by it. It should go away by age 5.

Low Blood Sugar

Also called hypoglycemia, this condition may make you dizzy, shaky, tired, confused, and blur your vision.

This problem can be by taking a small candy or sweets in a small amount. Otherwise, you might faint. If this condition repeats, you should consult the doctor immediately.

High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar from diabetes damages the nerves in your body that help keep your blood pressure steady. This leads to unusually low blood pressure that makes you faint.

Medicines

Medications for high blood pressure and depression affect your blood pressure and make you faint. Insulin used for lowering blood sugar levels in people with diabetes might cause hypoglycemia that also leads to fainting.

In older people, some drugs might cause illness (ex- situations like while standing in a room) and make you faint.

Standing Up

People sometimes faint when they arise due to a condition called postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). With this, you might feel sick, dizzy, shaky, or sweaty, and your heart may skip a beat and faint.

Drink plenty of fluids, limit caffeine, alcohol intake, and try to get up slowly. The doctor may suggest medications to treat it.

Shock

This is a condition wherein the body overreacts to the sight of blood, sudden intense emotion, fear of injury. The heart rate slows as blood vessels widen and blood pools in legs, away from the brain, making you feel cold, nauseated right before you faint.

Lie down and raise your legs when you feel you are about to faint.

Hyperventilation

Insufficient breathing makes blood vessels around your brain shrink, which limits oxygen and makes you lightheaded and possibly faint. A fear, sometimes a physical problem, usually causes it, though you can bring it on if you hold your breath. Hands, feet, and mouth might also tingle.

When you feel like you are not able to breathe sufficient air, start to breathe in more quickly.

Coughing

Cough, especially if it’s deep and unstoppable might prevent your blood from getting enough oxygen, making you faint.

This condition is commonly seen in babies with pertussis and asthma patients.

Consult the doctor right away if you have a severe asthma attack or faint from coughing.

Tight Collar

Carotid sinus syncope, or “tight-collar syndrome,” happens when something pushes on nerves at a wide part of the carotid artery in the neck. This interferes with blood flow to the brain, making you faint. It happens quickly and without other symptoms like nausea, paleness, and sweating.

In some cases, it may be a sign of narrowed arteries that requires immediate treatment.

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