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Why Am I Dizzy?


This can happen to most people within their lives. It might happen when you stand up too quickly, or due to an inner ear infection. It can happen consistently or once in your lifetime. There are many reasons why it can occur, but what is important is whether or not it is something underlying that s more serious.

What should I do if I experience dizziness?

First of all, as with anything that can be a malady, stay calm and take a deep breath. Sit or lay down and make sure you are in a calm and relaxed position. Avoid any stimulants such as coffee or nicotine, and avoid any types of alcohol or recreational drugs. The only fluid you should be imbibing is a nice fresh glass of water.

Make sure that if you are in the middle of some form of activity such as driving, operating heavy equipment, or even commuting to work on public transportation, get yourself out of that situation as safely as possible. Once you are safely away – make sure you follow the steps above and just remain calm.

I’m calm but the room is starting to spin

If your case of dizziness does not pass within an hour, or you are experiencing severe dizziness such as everything is a blur when you move your head then there’s a good possibility that you might have vertigo. This is the sensation where everything is spinning and when you move your head or body, the spinning actually intensifies.

This will settle down eventually so try to remain calm and continue drinking fluids and resting. You must also make an appointment with your doctor to determine what type of Vertigo you have, as there are three main types, and they can range from manageable and passive to quite serious, so this is a very important step. Keep in mind that all of these are all directly linked to your inner ear having issues.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Do not let the long name scare you. This is actually the most common type of vertigo you have and also the most treatable, sometimes with just some exercises and training. The root cause of this is due to calcium crystals actually falling away and float in your inner ear fluid.

This means there are foreign particles moving around your inner ear fluid, which leads to dizziness. These should really be relieved within minutes and the severe symptoms are extremely rare. The cause of this is usually related to inner ear problems that can be caused by damage over time, or if you’re prone to ear infections and / or swimmer’s ear.

Common symptoms

(not an emergency and should pass within minutes)
  • Dizziness
  • The feeling that everything is spinning
  • A loss of balance
  • Nausea and/or vomiting

Severe Symptoms that accompany the common symptoms

(call your doctor and see him/her)
  • An unexpected severe headache
  • Fever
  • Loss of hearing and / or vision
  • Limb weakness or numbness
Getting hit in the head really hard can also cause these symptoms to occur. The major risk of getting BPPV is the increased risk of falling, due to your lack of balance. The best thing to do is lie still and wait for your body to get over this episode. Again – moving your head around will only exacerbate the problem further.

BPPV should go away in a few weeks at most. And the best treatment is specialized head exercises that will help move the particles out of the canals and go to places where they wont cause you vertigo. There’s really no cure to this, since this is just the wrong particles in the wrong space.
Vestibular Neuritis
This most always caused by a viral infection. It can be one that occurs around the vestibulocochlear nerve or really any form of intense viral infection. Such as chicken pox, measles, influenza, mumps, hepatitis and polio. This should be diagnosed if you believe that the symptoms are too severe to be simply BPPV, and you have recently had a viral infection when the symptoms began. It is important to see a specialized ENT doctor or one that specializes with the nervous system to confirm whether you have this disease or not.

They can also help recommend audiologists who can help see how much damage was done to your hearing as well. If you start to notice rapid eye movements, that can also be an indicator of you have vestibular neuritis. It is best to get this diagnosed and begin treatment due to the fact that if it goes untreated, some permanent side effects can occur.

Common symptoms

  • BPPV Vertigo Symptoms
  • Rapid Eye movement (nystagmus)
  • Difficulty Concentrating

Permanent side effects

  • Chronic Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Disoriented
Meniere's Disease
This is a tough one, as there still hasn’t been a consensus on what is the cause of the disease. It could be hereditary, a reaction to symptoms that can be allergic, or even just a weak immune system. The actual cause of the disease itself is changes and shifting of your inner ear fluids.

This disease is a little more intense than some of the types of vertigo mentioned above. They can be full blown episodes and last up to a day. In addition to the common symptoms that can occur with BPPV or Vestibular Neuritis, Meniere’s Disease adds the following symptoms to the list.

Additional Symptoms

  • Loss of hearing
  • Ringing ears (tinnitus)
  • Headaches
  • The feel that your ear is plugged
Your doctor can help determine if this is the cause by conducting hearing tests that will see if you are having hearing loss issues. They will also check the electrical activity in your ear to check that the nerves are working. In addition to these auditory tests, they will also test several balance tests, including one that will place water in your ear and tracking your eye movements. The symptoms can be similar to having multiple sclerosis or brain tumors, so your doctor might do tests to rule those two diseases out.

Keep in mind that these episodes can be physically exhausting so it is always important to make sure that you rest and drink plenty of water. These episodes can happen concurrently and can start from one ear and expand to both ears.

The best current treatment for Menier’s disease is to manage the symptoms and get medicine into your body to mitigate the nausea and vomiting as well as the vertigo. This can lead to a new level of anxiety as these attacks are very random and not pleasant. It is important to look for support and relaxation therapies to help manage this disease. In some rare unmanageable cases there is an option for surgery where they help reduce the ear pressure and manage fluid drainage.

Coping with Vertigo and related symptoms

A lot of these issues can be handled with a healthy lifestyle that really focuses on your diet and intake. Reducing caffeine intake, removing alcohol and tobacco from your life, and eating a low salt diet always can help with treating many types of diseases. Even indirectly by having this type of lifestyle, your body will be healthy enough to cope with it and reduce the symptoms.

In addition, it is important to reduce your stress levels and manage your anxiety in your day-to-day life, as these will only make the issue worse during any vertigo related attacks. Consider alternative methods such as the powerful breathing exercises that can occur with consistent meditation, or try to improve your overall body flexibility and balance through yoga, which will physically prepare you for any outbursts.

Just remember when this happens, always think of yourself first and your safety. You do not need to go out with your friends that day. It is ok to call out from work when necessary, or even reschedule your appointment or interview, as it wouldn’t be beneficial to show up anywhere while the whole world seems to be moving faster than it should.