Dizziness: Causes, Symptoms & Diagnosis

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated -

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Dizziness is often used to describe two completely different conditions namely lightheadedness and vertigo. The next time you say “I’m dizzy,” it’s best to check with your doctor to identify the feeling correctly.

What is Dizziness?

Dizziness or giddiness is not a disease, but rather a condition that can make you feel unsteady and lightheaded for some time. It can also be a result of some serious underlying health issue, and therefore should not be ignored. Simple exercises can help you get rid of a dizzy spell, and if you are suffering from problems like ear infections, flu, or viral infections, curing these conditions first, will subsequently cure your condition.


People facing dizziness often feel lightheaded or unsteady. Many a time, they visit a number of specialists but still fail to solve the problem. Given to this, there are several opinions about the causes of lightheadedness or dizziness, and therefore, we have discussed them in detail below.

  • Blood pressure: Low blood pressure, or hypotension, is one of the most common causes of sudden dizziness. A rapidly fluctuating blood pressure can also be responsible for causing it.
  • Nervous system: If there is a problem in your nervous system, you might experience dizziness as a symptom.
  • Eating disorder: There are times when eating too little, or an eating disorder, might give rise to dizziness.
  • Vision problems: If you have just started wearing a new pair of glasses and are experiencing dizziness right after wearing them for a period of time, an incorrect prescription is to be blamed.
  • Aging: Age-related problems like dementia, neuropathy, menopause, vision loss, arteriosclerosis, and inactivity can also cause the feeling of light-headedness.
  • Heart problems: Dizziness can also stem from heart problems or a potential for stroke. It can be one of the symptoms of a heart attack.
  • Brain tumor: Doctors even consider brain tumor as the underlying reason, although it is very rare.
  • Hypoglycemia: This is a condition that is most commonly experienced by people suffering from diabetes.
  • Pregnancy: A pregnant woman can experience the feeling of lightheadedness fairly often. This can be due to the increasing hormonal activity, low blood sugar levels, change in metabolism activity, anemia, or varicose veins.
  • Other Causes: Dizziness can also be due to diarrhea, anxiety and ear infection (Labyrinthitis)


Dizziness, in itself, can be a symptom of some illness and is often accompanied by other symptoms. These include:

  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Lightheadedness
  • Stomachache
  • Headaches
  • Chest congestion
  • Weakness in legs

These symptoms may indicate towards a more serious condition, and therefore, should be properly diagnosed by a doctor.

Diagnosis (Tests)

Some tests that are conducted to diagnose dizziness are MRIs, CT scans, blood pressure tests, electrocardiograms, hearing tests, and various other neurological tests.

The doctor will first do a medical history examination, where they will ascertain what can be the possible causes experienced by a particular person. On the basis of this, they will further get the above-mentioned tests done, if necessary.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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