Dizziness is very unpleasant and you may feel like you’re about to lose control of your body. There is often no clear cause for it. We do know that your vestibular system in your inner ear is disturbed in case of dizziness. Plus there are several different types of dizziness. For example, you could suffer from:
- A spinning feeling. This is also referred to as vertigo.
- Feeling like you’re going to faint, or a light-headed, fuzzy feeling in your head.
- A shaky feeling in your legs. You may feel like you’re going to fall or lose control. Older people will suffer from this the most.
- Dizziness after a fall or a hard blow to the head.
The symptoms you have will differ per type of dizziness. That’s why the symptoms are detailed for each type of dizziness. Are you dizzy from a blow to the head, or because you have fallen? Then we recommend you click on blow to or fall on the head.
Vertigo will make you feel like everything is spinning around you. You could also:
- Feel nauseous.
- Be anxious.
- Suffer from bouts of dizziness. These can take up to 20 minutes.
- Suffer from ringing in your ears.
- Have migraines.
Suffer from light-headedness
If you feel light-headed, you may experience:
- A floaty feeling.
- Blurry vision.
Dizziness in older people
The elderly are more likely to suffer from dizziness than young people. For example, you could suffer from:
- A light-headed feeling if you stand up too quickly.
- A shaky feeling in your legs.
- Balance problems.
- Additional symptoms resulting from anxiety, like headaches or palpitations.
- Social isolation or loneliness. The dizziness can give you a fear of going outside alone. This can result in you heading out less often or visiting fewer people. This is obviously going to vary from person to person and doesn’t apply to everyone.
There are a number of things you can do about dizziness yourself. We recommend you take the following advice:
- Lie down quietly until the dizziness subsides.
- Try to continue doing your daily activities as much as possible. Make sure you don’t avoid these and let people in your environment know what’s going on. This will result in mutual understanding and support.
- Keep a diary if the dizziness lasts longer or comes back more often. You can then discuss this with your GP.
- Eat and drink healthily.
- Don’t drink alcohol and/or stop smoking. Ask your GP for advice if you need help with this.
- Get enough sleep, rest and/or relaxation. Do you often suffer from stress and tension? Then visit your GP or the practice nurse. They can look at your daily routines, discuss the possible cause with you and figure out what you could possibly do differently.
- Get plenty of exercise. For example, you could cycle, walk or do fitness exercises every day. Build this up slowly and see what you can handle. Do you have trouble moving independently? Then contact a physiotherapist. He or she can provide you with further advice. A physiotherapist can also help you with exercises for balance problems.
- Stand up calmly and carefully when sitting on a chair or lying in bed. For example, start with slowly sitting up when you’ve been lying down and hold onto something when you get up. Repeat this slowly so your body gets used to it.
- Avoid making fast and abrupt movements.
- Discuss your medication use with your GP. Some medications can cause the dizziness. Don’t reduce your medication yourself, but follow the advice issued by your GP.
It’s a good idea to contact your GP immediately if you suddenly become dizzy and light-headed. Especially if this is accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
- Double vision.
- Difficulty speaking and/or articulating. This suddenly arises.
- Suddenly unable to hear properly.
- Severe headache or neck pain.
- Feeling like you’re going to faint.
- Headache, faintness and feeling nauseous after being in an enclosed space for too long. This may particularly bother you if that room wasn’t well ventilated.
- If you have a form of diabetes and your blood sugar level is too low.
We would also recommend contacting your GP and/or making an appointment if you’re dizzy and:
- You have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
- You are 65 years old or above.
- You have ever had heart problems, ailments or a stroke.
- You are taking blood-thinners.
- You are hindered in your daily activities.
- Your dizziness doesn’t subside after 4 weeks or gets worse.
- You are worried.
- You have kept a diary of your dizziness and want to share your experiences with your GP.