There are many causes of dizziness (blood pressure, balance disorders, etc.). Dizziness can either be experienced as a non-specific feeling such as light-headedness or as the sensation of spinning, turning in circles or travelling in a lift. If you have an attack of dizziness, you should lie down, raise your legs and drink cool water.
- Motion sickness or rotary vertigo: like riding a carousel
- Staggering vertigo: like being on a ship
- Elevator vertigo: like going up and down in a lift
- Being light-headed, feeling dizzy or giddy
- Uncertain gait / standing on shaky feet
Causes and treatment
There are many causes of dizziness. The “type” of dizziness can help with the diagnosis. This list mentions the most common causes, but isn't exhaustive.
- Rotary / staggering / elevator vertigo: indicate a disorder of the balance system
- Being light-headed, dizzy, on shaky legs: many possible causes outside the balance system
- Low blood pressure
- Heart arrhythmia
Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital
As dizziness can have many causes, there are many different examinations. A clear-cut trigger can't always be identified. The cause of dizziness dictates the treatment.
- Neurological examinations (e.g. finger-to-nose test, walking on a line, etc.)
- ENT examinations (e.g. warm/cold water in ear, Frenzel goggles, hearing test, etc.)
- Electrocardiogram (ECG)
- Schellong test (measurement of blood pressure in lying and standing positions)
- Blood sampling (blood salt levels, number of red blood cells, etc.)
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
What can I do myself?
- Sit or lie down during an attack of dizziness in order to avoid injuries caused by falling
- Elevate the legs
- Drink cool water
- Look straight ahead
- Drink enough
- Regular exercise
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