Lightheadedness can be described as feeling faint or dizzy. You may also feel like you could faint. For example, you might feel unbalanced or experience blurred vision. It is caused by standing up fast, dehydration, or low blood sugar levels.
What is the definition of lightheadedness?
The feeling of lightheadedness can be like you’re about to faint. Your body might feel heavy, and your head may not get enough blood. Another method to describe lightheadedness is a “reeling sensation.” Lightheadedness can be accompanied by blurred vision, as well as diminished balance.
While it’s not always a cause for concern, lightheadedness may be a sign of a medical issue and increase the risk of falling. Therefore, be cautious if you experience lightheadedness.
It is common for lightheadedness to occur whenever you swiftly move from a seated position to a standing position. This change in posture causes less blood flow to your brain. It may result in a drop in blood pressure which causes you to feel weak. It is more likely that you be affected by this condition if you suffer from dehydration due to an illness or a lack of intake of fluids. The sensation could improve if you lie down or sit down.
The feeling of lightheadedness can be accompanied by dizziness and nausea. Dizziness is the sensation of being unstable or unbalanced. Issues are usually caused in the inner ear, heart, brain, or the usage of certain drugs. 4 out of 10 individuals are experiencing dizziness so severe that they have to see the doctor. The risk of dizziness is that it alters your perception of balance and makes people more susceptible to falling.
A particular kind of dizziness, known as vertigo, is a cause of illusions that you feel like your surroundings are spinning or moving; however, in reality, they’re still. For example, vertigo could make you think you’re floating or swaying, tilting, or rotating. Most cases of dizziness can be due to inner ear problems that send signals to the brain that aren’t in line with the signs your eyes and nerves are receiving.
The causes of lightheadedness
Apart from dehydration and a change in the position, Other causes of lightheadedness are
- altitude sickness
- suffering from cold
- getting the flu
- blood sugar levels are low.
- Utilizing smoking tobacco, alcohol, or other illegal substances
- dehydration is caused by nausea, diarrhea, fevers, and many other diseases
- extremely deep or rapid breath (hyperventilation)
- tension and stress
Certain medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, may also trigger lightheadedness.
In some cases, the reason for lightheadedness can be due to an even more serious issue such as:
- heart diseases, such as heart attack or heartbeats that are in a rhythm that is not normal
- Internal blood loss (in your organs, organ systems, or internal organs)
- a shock that can cause a dramatic blood pressure drop
When should you seek medical assistance?
Get medical attention immediately when you’ve lost substantial blood and feel uneasy. Lightheadedness associated with stroke or heart attack symptoms is best treated promptly. These include:
- facial wrinkles on one side
- Pressure or the sensation of pain within the chest
- mysterious sweating
Don’t try to take yourself to the emergency room when experiencing these symptoms. Instead, contact an ambulance.
Consult your doctor if you experience lightheadedness that persists after about a week or has caused nausea or an injury. You should also seek medical attention if the feeling of lightheadedness gets worse over time.
This is a summation. Seek medical attention if you suspect you need urgent care.
How can lightheadedness be treated?
A feeling of lightheadedness not related to massive heart attack, blood loss, or stroke typically disappears as time passes. Other treatments may tackle the root of the problem.
Treatment options for less serious causes of lightheadedness could be:
- drinking more drinking water
- Receiving infusions intravenously (hydration fluids delivered via a vein)
- drinking sugary drinks or food
- Drinking fluids that contain electrolytes
- lying down or sitting to decrease the height of the head about the body
For more serious instances of lightheadedness or the lightheadedness that does not go away.
The treatment options
- Water pills
- low-salt diet
- antinausea medications
- Antianxiety medication, for example, diazepam (Valium) and Alprazolam (Xanax)
- antimigraine medications
- balance therapy, also known as vestibular therapy (exercises to make the balance system less sensitive to movement)
- psychotherapy to help reduce anxiety
- Antibiotic injections inside the ear are causing balance problems (this affects balance in the ear, which permits the opposite one to assume the balance)
- Removal of the organ that senses the inner ear. It is known as labyrinthectomy (a rare procedure that disables the inner ear’s functions and causes balance issues so that the other ear can be in charge)
What can I do to prevent lightheadedness?
Moving slowly and avoiding abrupt adjustments in posture could prevent the feeling of lightheadedness. Drink plenty of fluids, particularly when you’re active or sick. Avoid bright light and wear sunglasses while out in the sun.
Avoid substances known to cause lightheadedness, such as cigarettes or alcohol. In addition, antihistamines, sedatives, and antinausea medicines can cause lightheadedness. Do not stop medication prescribed by the recommendation of your physician.
If you experience the feeling of being lightheaded regularly, here are some other tips to improve your quality of life:
- Be aware that you could not maintain your balance while walking, resulting in injuries or even a fall.
- Move slowly and carefully with a cane, allowing mobility when needed.
- Ensure you are safe from falls at home by removing items that you could fall on, like electrical cords and area rug, and add mats that are non-slip to your shower or bath flooring; ensure that your home is lit.
- You can lie down or rest when you are feeling lightheaded. You can also lie down with your eyes shut in a darkened area if you suffer from a severe vertigo attack.
- Do not operate a motor vehicle or operate heavy machinery when you frequently feel dizzy without warning.
- Consume a balanced diet that is rich in a range of nutrients
- Get sufficient to sleep (8 up to 10 hours in teens, 8 to 10 hours for teenagers, between 7 and 9 hours in adults and young adults, while 7 to 8 for adults)
- Reduce stress levels by practicing relaxation methods like breathwork, yoga, and meditation.
- Drink enough liquids (at least eight glasses daily)