Dizzy Spells in Seniors: 7 Leading Causes Explained

Dizzy Spells in Seniors, peripheral vertigo

Countless seniors experience dizzying spells and spinning sensations. Unfortunately, most of them don’t know why they experience the symptoms, while others wait for their health complaints to improve without seeking medical help. Do you have senior loved ones who have the same dilemma? If yes, then maybe you might know how to help them better by understanding the seven leading causes of dizziness and vertigo in older people. Let’s help you get acquainted with different health concerns, ranging from peripheral vertigo to hypoglycemia. 

1. Dehydration

Dehydration is among the leading triggers of health problems like dizziness and vertigo attacks. It also leads to hospitalization or ER room visits. However, even with its horrible effects on the body, 17 to 28 percent of seniors in the USA are under-hydrated. Doctors explain that dehydration can cause different effects on the nervous system, including:

  • The brain cells work extra hard to function normally
  • Declining cognitive function
  • Decreased brain power
  • Decrease in brain cells size and mass
  • Reduced oxygen levels in the brain 

2. Hypoglycemia

Refers to a condition where the blood sugar plummets to dangerous levels. It commonly affects diabetic patients, especially those who follow strict diets. Most of the time, this condition causes a string of symptoms, including muscle weakness, dizziness, loss of balance, spinning sensations, and in severe cases – loss of consciousness. 

3. Medication side effects

Thousands of seniors take a cocktail of medications for varying conditions, including hypertension, loss of bone density, and diabetes. Sadly, some medicine can come with a few contraindications. Others also cause common health complaints like dizziness and vertigo attacks. This is why it’s extra crucial to check the dosage and consult with a physician. If you experience any unwanted effects, you might need to switch to another brand or form of medication. Alternatively, you can try tapping into natural and holistic remedies based on your doctor’s suggestions. 

4. Sudden blood pressure changes

Maintaining optimal blood pressure is imperative to achieving a healthy body. However, it’s no secret that many people struggle to keep their blood pressure in check. Seniors, for example, are highly susceptible to hypertension and hypotension. This trend mostly happens because of hardened veins and arteries, plaque buildup, and pre-existing health conditions such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Kidney failure
  • Slower metabolism
  • Thyroid disorders

Notably, blood pressure fluctuations can affect the blood supply to the brain. If the brain tissues don’t get enough nutrients or oxygen, you might experience sudden bouts of spinning sensations or dizziness. On the other hand, excessive blood pressure can lead to blood clot formation within the brain tissues. This can leave you at risk of a stroke and permanent brain damage. 

5. Peripheral Vertigo

This kind of vertigo stems from several vestibular problems, including Meniere’s disease, BPPV, acoustic neuroma, and inner ear infection. Although peripheral vertigo poses lesser life threats than the central type, it can cause disorienting and crippling symptoms that can affect your routine. 

Studies have yet to determine why peripheral vertigo develops. But so far, theories explain that it might stem from postural imbalances in the neck. If you remember from basic anatomy classes, the neck encases the body’s information highway – the brainstem. This bundle of nerve tissues transmits all kinds of signals to and from the brain. On top of that, it regulates several functions like sleeping patterns, blood pressure, and digestion. 

Naturally, if anything happens to the brainstem because of cervical subluxation, slipped discs, or other conditions that compromise the spine, the rest of the body suffers the consequences. On top of that, you become at risk of experiencing vertigo and losing your balance. 

Dizzy Spells in Seniors, peripheral vertigo






6. Anemia

According to reports, anemia affects about 10 percent of people aged 65 and above in the USA. Unfortunately, not many people know how anemia develops and how patients can cope with its effects. So to address this concern, here are some valuable facts and figures about anemia in seniors:

  • People diagnosed with anemia have a lower than usual RBC (red blood cells) count
  • The condition causes intense bouts of dizziness or light-headedness
  • Sometimes, anemia can trigger vertigo attacks because it impacts the flow and distribution of nutrients and oxygen to the brain tissues
  • Besides dizziness, anemia can also cause weakness, lethargy, shortness of breath, and recurring headaches

7. Head or Neck Injuries 

Seniors are quite prone to head and neck trauma because of weakened joints and bones and loss of balance and agility. These injuries often result in several problematic symptoms ranging from migraine headaches, intense neck pain, dizziness, and vertigo attacks. Sometimes, they can also cause or trigger vertigo-causing disorders like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

If you have a history of neck or head trauma or have a loved one who suffers from any of the two, you should seek medical assistance right away. This way, you can assess the severity of the problem and know what possible complications to expect. A quick consultation will also narrow down other causes of your health complaints.


Get proper diagnosis to know the best remedy to use

The first step to coping with peripheral vertigo, head trauma, anemia, blood pressure fluctuations, and the conditions we listed above is to get an accurate medical diagnosis. 

This will help you confirm your suspicions and check for pre-existing health conditions that may be contributing to the discomfort you are experiencing. It also helps you catch serious underlying causes of dizziness, such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and panic disorder. 

So, we strongly recommend talking with your primary doctor before you start seeking remedies or techniques such as upper cervical chiropractic.


Relieving Dizziness in the Elderly with the Help of Upper Cervical Care

Many patients who seek relief for peripheral vertigo and other vertigo-causing conditions have explored upper cervical chiropractic. That’s because it offers a promising and holistic approach to addressing imbalances in the body and eliminating signal interferences between the brain and the vestibular organs. 

So, if you or a senior loved one struggles with dizziness or vertigo attacks, we suggest scheduling a quick visit to a nearby upper cervical chiropractic practice. This will help you get an accurate neck bone assessment and determine if you might need to receive atlas and axis bone adjustments.


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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.