Occasional dizziness due to dehydration or a hot day isn’t normally a cause for concern. However, vertigo and recurrent or severe dizziness are signs of an underlying problem.

What Is Dizziness?

Dizziness is a lightheaded, faint or unsteady feeling that may leave you feeling like you’ve lost your balance. One type of dizziness is vertigo, a condition that makes you feel as though you or your surroundings are spinning.

What Causes Dizziness?

From the muscles throughout your body to your inner ear, your body is constantly coordinating a variety of systems to help you remain balanced and avoid feeling dizzy. There are a number of medications and healthy conditions that can lead to dizziness and loss of balance, including:

  • Allergies
  • Anemia
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Head injury
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Inner ear infection
  • Irregular heart rhythm
  • Migraine

It is important to remember that dizziness can sometimes be a sign of stroke. If you experience dizziness paired with confusion, double vision, headache or numbness on one side of your body, please seek emergency medical attention.

What Causes Vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal vertigo, the most common type, occurs when calcium crystals detach and float in the fluid-filled inner ear chambers. These crystals can disrupt the normal function of your inner ear, causing a sensitivity to head movements.

In addition to a spinning sensation, vertigo can also cause headaches, tinnitus, involuntary eye movements and nausea as well as a general disorientation.

How Is It Treated?

Your doctor will perform a thorough medical examination to determine the underlying cause of your dizziness and develop a treatment plan to best relieve your symptoms. Your treatment plan may include a combination of simple body maneuvers to clear your inner ear, balance therapy and medications, both oral and injectable.