Dizziness- Should I be CONCERNED?

  • November 13, 2017

Dizziness or vertigo is an all too common issues in the general population. About 5-10% of people experience some form of dizziness or vertigo. This number increases in individuals over the age of 40. 

The most common type is called BPPV or positional vertigo. With BPPV, individuals experience symptoms with changing positions. Often times the symptoms experienced will reduce in less than 30 seconds. It is possible however for the dizziness to last longer then 30 seconds. What is interesting and surprising is the high number of people with this type of dizziness who do nothing about it. The good news is, this type of vertigo is easily treated with a very specific type of treatment. Even better news is this type of vertigo can be improved in as little as 1 or 2 treatments.

Another type of dizziness originates from the neck. Yes, the neck has the potential to cause dizziness in a percentage of people. In these folks, neck movements or posture will be the precipitating cause of dizziness. Like above, this form of vertigo can also be treated. Treatment however may take more time for ultimate success.

A third form of dizziness is that related to a person’s cardiovascular system. That’s right, if there is blockage or restricted bloodflow to the brain, it is possible to become dizzy. Often a person may experience this with exertion such as walking. If a person experiences dizziness with activity, it is time to talk with your physician. It is necessary to determine the exact cause and receive appropriate treatment as necessary.

A less serious version of a cardiovascular cause of dizziness is when a person gets dizzy upon standing up from a seated position or stands too quickly after lying down. In some folks, rapid changes in position could trigger a drop in blood pressure resulting in dizziness. While not as serious at face value, if a person sustains a fall because of the dizziness, then there is the serious issue. Treatment for this type of vertigo may include medication to control blood pressure, and steps can be taken by the person to change positions more slowly to allow blood pressure to normalize before jumping up to standing. Also taking time to pause in a new position before moving is advised (i.e. sit at edge of bed before standing to walk).

There are other neurological reasons for a person to experience vertigo that are too numerous to explain all the possible implications and treatment options. What you should know is that consultation with a neurologist can help determine the most likely source of the dizziness and help direct treatment should the person NOT fit any of the above-mentioned categories.

What you should take away is that in many cases, dizziness can be treated successfully if a person begins the conversation with a qualified healthcare provider.

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