Dizziness is a word to describe everything from feeling faint or lightheaded to feeling weak or unsteady to feeling like you are in motion, usually from left to right or right to left although it can feel like the ground is moving upwards or downwards from beneath you (sometimes leading to a loss of balance and fall!) Dizziness that creates the sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving is called vertigo.

Keeping your sense of balance depends on your brain processing a variety of information from your eyes, your nervous system, and both inner ears. However, if your brain can’t process signals from all of these locations, if the messages are contradictory, or if your sensory systems aren’t functioning properly, you may experience dizziness and loss of balance.

Symptoms of dizziness may include –

  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving  
  • A loss of balance 
  • Nausea  
  • Lightheadedness 
  • Faintness 
  • Weakness 
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Blurred vision after moving the head quickly

Why Are You Dizzy?

Your sense of balance is controlled by several signals sent to the brain by the eyes, inner ear, and the sensory nerves located in your skin, muscles, and joints. A sense of balance is only maintained as long as two out of three of these systems are functioning well. However, sometimes these systems give your brain contradictory signals causing dizziness.

Vertigo is Often the Culprit

Vertigo is when you experience the false motion of spinning. Usually with vertigo sitting up or moving around makes it worse. Vertigo is usually caused by a problem with the inner ear.

In turn, the causes of vertigo may include Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo or BPPV. BPPV causes intense, brief episodes of dizziness whenever you change the position of your head, sit up in the morning, or turn over in bed. This is caused by calcium carbonate crystals breaking up and falling into the canals in your inner ear and throwing your balance off. 

Doctors don’t know what causes BPPV, but it may be a natural result of aging. Trauma to your head also may lead to BPPV. 

Inflammation in the inner ear can also cause conditions such as acute vestibular neuronitis or labyrinthitis. These conditions can cause sudden, intense vertigo that may persist for several days, with nausea and vomiting. It can be incapacitating, requiring bed rest to minimize the signs and symptoms. Fortunately, vestibular neuronitis generally subsides and clears up on its own. 

Meniere’s disease also causes dizziness This disease involves the excessive buildup of fluid in your inner ear. It may affect adults at any age and is characterized by sudden episodes of vertigo lasting 30 minutes to an hour or longer. Other signs and symptoms include the feeling of fullness in your ear, buzzing or ringing in your ear (tinnitus), and fluctuating hearing loss. 

Another condition that can cause dizziness is called a Vestibular migraine. People who contract them are very sensitive to motion. It may be triggered by turning your head quickly, being in a crowded or confusing place, driving or riding in a vehicle, or even watching movement on TV. Vestibular migraine can also produce hearing loss, “muffled” hearing, or ringing in your ears. Attacks of migrainous vertigo can last from a few minutes to several days

Dizziness is also caused by a condition called an acoustic neuroma. This is a noncancerous (benign) growth on the acoustic nerve, which connects the inner ear to your brain. Signs and symptoms also include dizziness, hearing loss, and tinnitus. Vertigo can also be a symptom of a more serious neurological problem such as a stroke, brain hemorrhage, or multiple sclerosis. 

An inadequate output of blood from the heart can also cause dizziness. Conditions such as partially blocked arteries (atherosclerosis), disease of the heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), or a decrease in blood volume may cause inadequate blood flow from your heart. 

One form of dizziness is referred to as lightheadedness. This is the feeling of being spaced out or spinning inside your head. This can be caused by abnormalities of the inner ear, hyperventilation, and anxiety disorders, and of course, anxiety is quite common during these uncertain times of the Covid-19 pandemic.


Treatment and Self-Care of Dizziness

Although it may be disabling and incapacitating, dizziness rarely signals a serious, life-threatening condition. Treatment of dizziness depends on the cause and your symptoms.

Support and care is the most important part of treatment for dizziness and a naturopathic doctor and his integrated team can help you get to the bottom of why it had become an issue for you. 

At the Pinewood Natural Health Care Centre, we focus on disease prevention and self-care. We also help with women’s health issues as well as obesity, allergies, chronic pain, and PMS. Our services include naturopathic testing, dietary counseling, homeopathy, and herbal remedies. You can find out more about us on our website call our Toronto Office at (416)-656- 8100. We also have an office in Pickering, Ontario at (905)-427-0057. You can also email us at info@pinewoodhealth.ca and we would be happy to answer any question that you have about our holistic health services.

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