Symptoms and Syndromes in the Patient with Dizziness or Unsteadiness

Dizziness can be described as a sensation of falling, feeling disoriented, out of sorts, & overall unsteady.

It can make a person fall down or injure themselves in worst case scenarios. In other cases, dizziness can be uncomfortable to experience, especially when you’re at office or out socializing with friends. For all the discomfort, dizziness usually isn’t a life threatening condition. In fact, it’s not even a condition on its own. Dizziness is almost always a symptom of some other underlying condition or illness.

The reasons for dizziness can range from a harmless ear infection or a cold, flu, etc. to more serious ones like head injuries, cardiovascular issues, & more. Strokes and other brain disorders can also bring on dizziness in some people.

Dizziness is often not a standalone feeling but is accompanied by several other symptoms. These include wooziness, nausea, motion sickness, a spinning sensation, & general disorientation. Dizziness is quite common among children as well as adults and is one of the primary reasons people visit doctors. The exact cause of dizziness is important for your doctor to treat the problem effectively. As dizziness treatment usually consists of the treatment of the underlying issue.

However, in cases where the exact cause is unknown or can’t be found, dizziness treatment includes several preemptive methods. These may include dizziness exercises, dizziness medicines, & some vertigo medicines like the Stemetil tablet. 

Dizziness symptoms: 

Dizziness may appear differently in each individual, depending on their medical history, lifestyle, & associated conditions. However, there are some dizziness symptoms that show up commonly across all kinds of patients.

These dizziness symptoms include:

  • A sensation of the surroundings spinning or moving around uncontrollably. False perception of motion and one’s position in space. This symptom is also commonly observed in vertigo patients, who also experience varying degrees of dizziness throughout the course of their illness.
  • A feeling of being lightheaded or about to faint
  • General unsteadiness and loss of balance & coordination
  • Feeling woozy, heavy-headed, & almost as if one is floating or rocking in a chair or a boat

In some cases, patients might notice that their dizziness becomes especially severe when they’re walking, suddenly stand up, or lie down. This is particularly true for people who are diagnosed with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV).  These episodes of dizziness might be short-lived or may last for up to several hours. However, any episode of dizziness that lasts beyond 72 hours is a cause for concern.

Dizziness causes: 

Dizziness causes usually involve going wrong with the balance mechanism of the body.

Various organs help in maintaining the body’s balance. These include:

  • The eyes
  • The ears
  • The leg muscles
  • The joints
  • The skin

When even one of these mechanisms doesn’t work properly, it results in dizziness, wooziness, and a feeling of fainting.

More often than not, inner ear issues are the cause of dizziness. The inner ear is responsible for maintaining the balance of the body. It works in conjunction with the head muscles and the neck muscles to maintain adequate balance & position of the body. In cases where the inner ear gets infected, inflamed, swollen, or has a tumor, the person experience dizziness as a result.

Many conditions can cause dizziness in a person. These include:

  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV): BPPV is a condition in which the tiny calcium crystals in the middle ear, get dislodged inside the semicircular canal of the inner ear. There, these crystals cause problems with the way the inner ear perceives and reacts to any changes in the body’s position and balance. This results in the person feeling dizzy, nauseous, & a spinning sensation. In some cases, BPPV can also cause headaches of migraine intensity, light & sound sensitivity, along with general instability and disorientation. BPPV dizziness treatment usually involves canalith repositioning manuevers. These are simple exercises that help dislodge the calcium crystals from their inner ears back to their original position in the middle ear. Some of these exercises can dislodge the calcium crystals in just one go. While some others may take some time to do so. Normally, each exercise works within a few weeks, if at all. Always perform exercises only on a doctor’s recommendation, & never by yourself.
  • Meniere’s Disease: Meniere’s Disease is an inner ear disorder that leads to feelings of pressure inside the ears, hearing loss, & a ringing sound in the ears(known as Tinnitus). An excessive amount of fluid inside the ears is usually what causes Meniere’s Disease in patients. It also causes dizziness, headaches, & vertigo-like symptoms in the patients. Meniere’s Disease treatment usually consists of diuretics(water pills), dizziness exercises, & some vertigo medicines to relieve dizziness and nausea. In some rare cases, surgery might also be recommended. Reducing the amount of salt intake and remaining stress-free is also important for Meniere’s Disease dizziness treatment. You should also try to limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, as well as quit smoking for faster recovery.
  • Ear Infections: Ear infections can easily cause BPPV & associated dizziness in a patient. Some of the most common ear infections that have known to cause dizziness are labyrinthitis and Vestibular Neuritis. In these, the labyrinth & the vestibular nerve get infected & inflamed, respectively. This interferes with the normal functioning of the inner ear & causes dizziness symptoms. It can also lead to hearing loss, ear aches, & possible ear drum complications. The latter have a higher chance of occurring in labyrinthitis as compared to Vestibular Neuritis.
    Middle ear infections too can cause dizziness. Although these are more common in children than in adults. The usual treatment for an ear infection is either antibiotics(for bacterial infections), or plenty of fluids & rest(in case of viral infections). Sometimes, surgery might be needed if your infection is particularly severe or has caused too much structural damage.

Other causes of dizziness include:

  • Heart arrhythmia or an irregular heartbeat. Usually caused by atrial fibrillation.
  • Low blood pressure, also known as hypotension.
  • A narrowing of arteries, also known as atherosclerosis.
  • Head or brain injury
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Anxiety attacks, also known as panic attacks, & excessive stress.
  • Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia.
  • Certain medications
  • Blurred vision and eye issues can also sometimes cause dizziness for brief periods of time.

Dizziness treatment: 

Dizziness treatment usually depends on the exact cause behind it. For BPPV, the treatment consists of dizziness exercises like the Epley Maneuver, the Brandt-Daroff exercises, & the Semont Maneuver. These exercises help reposition the dislodged crystals from inside the semicircular canals & place them back into the middle ear.

Dizziness treatment can also include certain vertigo medicines like the Stemetil Tablet, the Stugeron forte tablet, the meclizine tablet, & certain antihistamines. If your anxiety attacks are causing dizziness, your doctor might also prescribe you anti-anxiety medications to calm your nerves down.  On this note, they can also prescribe you some antidepressants to keep the chemical balance in your brain in check.

In some cases, dizziness can also go away on its own without any need for medical intervention.

However, for dizziness that lasts longer than 72 hours, is especially severe & causes fainting spells, & occurs with other worrisome symptoms, visit your doctor immediately.