Dizziness and giddiness are symptoms of an underlying medical condition. Giddiness can be loosely defined as a feeling of light-headedness. Giddiness followed by spells of weakness or fatigue may point to a drop in blood pressure or an inadequate supply of blood to the heart muscle. An abnormal heart rhythm due to congenital reasons or age-related diseases may also cause giddiness. You may experience giddiness due to sudden movement: if you are lying or sitting and get to your feet in a quick motion.
If you feel a sense of giddiness accompanied by a spinning sensation, you may be suffering from vertigo. Giddiness is one of the symptoms of vertigo where the individual might feel that his surroundings are moving or spinning. Giddiness in the morning, immediately after waking up, maybe caused due to BPVV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Any change in the position of the head can bring about brief spells of positional vertigo. These can worsen with movement. You may also experience nausea and loss of balance due to vertigo. Giddiness in the morning may also be one of the symptoms of pregnancy where the dilated blood vessels need to be filled with adequate blood volume. More commonly referred to as morning sickness, this phase usually fades by the end of third or fourth month of pregnancy.
The inner ear or vestibular system and sensory nerves allow the brain to grasp gravity and sense of movement and positions. An inflammation in the inner ear called vestibular neuritis may cause giddiness. Left untreated, it could also lead to temporary hearing loss. Usually, the inflammation clears up by itself. Prolonged infection and other symptoms like fever, severe headaches, blurred vision, and so on may need immediate medical attention.
People suffering from migraine attacks may also experience dizziness and giddiness. Meniere’s disease, an infection in the eustachian tube due to fluid build up may also cause spells of giddiness. Some blood pressure medications or side effects of some medications may also cause giddiness. Stress and anxiety could also lead to elevated heart rhythms or palpitations causing giddiness.
While dizziness and giddiness may not be fatal, it is best to consult your doctor if you suffer from persistent spells. Some other symptoms to look out for include constant fatigue, blanking or blacking out, and if you lose balance or fall unconscious. Remember that driving a car while suffering from inexplicable spells of giddiness and dizziness is dangerous. You may suffer from an accident or fall and injure yourself. Giddiness brought on by fatal conditions such as stroke, hemorrhage, or multiple sclerosis may worsen without treatment.
Giddiness treatment. Normal spells of giddiness may not require any treatment and may phase off on their own. However, your doctor must diagnose any recurrent symptoms and find their underlying cause. Physiotherapy and oral medications can help with giddiness treatments for vertigo, migraine, ear infections, and so on. In the case of giddiness caused by Meniere’s disease, your doctor might recommend anti diuretic pills and a low salt diet to limit fluid retention. A psychotherapist may address anxiety and stress-related giddiness. In addition to this, you may want to learn a few relaxation techniques, which can also help, limit the giddiness spells. Alcoholic beverages, caffeine, and nicotine could worsen the symptoms and bring on increased spells of giddiness and dizziness. Avoid these until concrete diagnosis of your symptoms.
Precautionary measures while suffering from giddiness include:
• Avoiding crowded or claustrophobic spaces that may increase the incidence of giddiness.
• If you are suffering from fainting spells, it is best to avoid driving your car until complete diagnosis. Do not lift heavy objects or work with heavy machinery if you experience giddiness. You may risk an accident involving others or yourself.
• Disequilibrium or loss of balance may occur along with giddiness. If so, find yourself a place to sit and recover. Fall proof your house by tacking down carpets and rugs, use slip proof shower mats and have a walking cane handy for support and balance.