What Is the Most Common Cause of Dizziness in the Elderly?

Dizziness in the Elderly

What is the most common cause of dizziness in the elderly?

As people age, a handful of symptoms may start to unleash. Symptoms like dizziness in the elderly become more common. Dizziness and imbalance are serious issues for seniors who live independently or with other family members. In fact, falling down causes more injury-related hospital visits than any other accident type does within this demographic group. 

Understanding Dizziness in the Elderly

Dizziness is a condition that can mean different sensations depending on the person. Often, cases of dizziness in the elderly are worse compared to other age groups. Fainting, nausea, and unsteadiness are the most common features of dizzy spells.

Here are other words to describe dizziness:

  • A feeling of lightheadedness 
  • Losing of balance, especially after a sudden movement
  • A floating feeling
  • A sense that your surrounding is spinning or whirling

A number of factors could cause the onset of dizziness for people reaching the golden age. Balance and muscle changes happen as we grow older, while vertigo also becomes more prevalent with time. These can lead to frequent episodes that make it difficult for seniors to do much during their day-to-day routine or even leave the house at all!

In the next part of the article, you'll learn about some common causes of dizziness in the elderly, so you know what signs to look out for if your loved one starts experiencing these symptoms frequently.

Vertigo and Dizziness: How Do They Connect?

Have you ever experienced the sensation of vertigo? You may have heard it referred to as dizziness. But what's the difference between these two sensations, and why do they happen? We'll break them down for you below!


Elders can feel dizzy for a wide variety of reasons. So, here are some potential causes why dizziness occurs:

  • Anemia – Dizzy spells could be a symptom of a condition called anemia. A person with this disorder feels drained and exhausted due to the depletion of iron levels in their blood.
  • Stroke or heart disease – It is pretty common for patients who experience stroke and heart disease to feel dizzy during an attack. Older adults are more prone to these conditions, so if you have any of the following symptoms (lightheadedness, loss of balance), you must call 911 immediately!
  • Dehydration – During the hot season, older adults would need your care more than ever. A hot temperature and a lack of water intake can cause them to dehydrate. That's why it is essential to keep track of their water intake. Drinking enough water is one of the easiest and fastest ways to cope with dizziness in the elderly
  • Low and high blood pressure – One of the most common causes of dizziness in the elderly is low and high blood pressure. An irregular regulation of blood pressure can cause a person to feel dizzy immediately after making a sudden movement. Movements that trigger dizziness in people with low and high blood pressure are sitting down, standing up, and sudden walks. 


Vertigo is a bizarre symptom that can make you feel as if the surroundings are spinning. A person experiencing vertigo may also feel experience the following symptoms:

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling sick
  • Loss of balance
  • Concentration problems 
  • Nausea

A vertigo episode can cause an dizziness in the elderly. Vertigo occurs when a problem in the inner ear seeds a feeling that you are losing balance. Since older adults are more vulnerable to internal ear infections, they become more prone to vertigo and dizziness. 

Dizziness in the Elderly

What Causes the Elderly to Lose Balance as They Age?

Maintaining proper balance becomes more difficult as one grows older. Factors that fuel imbalance starts to creep in as age increases. Here are the common causes of imbalance in older adults. 

  • Labyrinthitis – This is a condition that causes infection and inflammation of the inner ear. This condition results in balance problems. 
  • Chronic conditions – Chronic conditions can also result in balance problems, including:  
  1. Eye problems
  2. Alzheimer's Disease
  3. Parkinson's Disease
  4. Heart Problems
  5. Arthritis
  6. Multiple Sclerosis 
  • Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo – This is also a problem that occurs in the inner ear. There are tiny calcium stones in the inner ear canal that help maintain balance. Even the slightest movement of calcium stones from their original position can lead to vertigo.
  • Meniere's Disease – Dizziness and vertigo are symptoms of Meniere’s disease. They are a result of an abnormal fluid buildup in the inner ear. 

Tips to Relieve Dizziness in Elderly

Dizziness can often fade away without proper care. However, older adults need relief from this condition to avoid accidental falls. 

Here are ways on how to help the elderly in dealing with dizziness and imbalance.

  • Medication - Certain medications are good for relieving nausea and dizziness. If migraine is the primary cause of dizziness, then a preventative migraine medication can help aid the symptoms.
  • Physical therapy – One of the most popular physical therapy to ease dizziness is Epley Maneuver. This form of physical therapy aims to alter the head's position to aid dizziness in the elderly with BPPV.
  • Surgery – Some patients may respond hard to medications and home remedies, and one way to correct the symptoms is through surgery. 
  • Home remedies – If you do not have access to certain medications and physical therapy, don't worry. Doctors suggest these home remedies that you can apply to help an elderly in getting rid of dizziness, including:
  1. Eating a balanced and healthy diet
  2. Staying hydrated, especially during a hot summer season
  3. Avoiding sudden movements
  4. Avoiding drinks such as caffeine and alcohol
  5. Less consumption of salt and tobacco
  6. Lowering the daily dose of medications that have may trigger a side effect of dizziness
  7. Upper cervical chiropractic This care focuses on correcting misalignments in the upper cervical spine (upper neck). Misalignments cause damage and irritation to the vestibular nerves, resulting in vertigo symptoms. 

Upper Cervical Care Helps Managing Dizziness in the Elderly

Elder's golden years should be a year full of relaxation and ease. They shouldn't have to deal with imbalance, dizziness, and vertigo. That is why they need to get the quality care that they deserve. 

Are you a senior, or do you know an elderly person who struggles with constant dizziness? Are you in need of professional care and help to ease that frustrating symptom? Consult with an upper cervical chiropractor near you. Upper cervical chiropractors can help check and align your upper cervical spine to correct the recurring symptoms of vertigo or dizziness.

Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.