Have you ever suffered from dizziness? If so, you are far from alone. Just about everyone gets dizzy at some time or another. The question we want to answer today is: Why? We’re going to consider 10 potential causes of dizziness. Some are simple and have an easy solution. Others require immediate emergency care. We will conclude our discussion by presenting a natural way that many are finding relief from dizzy spells that is the result of past head or neck injuries.
#1 Medication Side Effects
This is a common cause of dizziness. In fact, certain classifications of medication are even more likely to cause dizzy spells. Some of these include blood pressure medications, diuretics, and antidepressants. While this seems like an easy fix – stop the medication – it isn’t always that simple. For example, if your blood pressure medication is necessary to keep you alive, you will have to come up with another way to cope with the dizziness.
This also explains why diuretics (medications that cause the body to release fluids, also called a water pill) can cause dizzy spells. Dizziness is a very early sign of dehydration, so you may not need to go to the hospital for fluids. Try drinking 8-12 glasses of water per day to stay properly hydrated and see if that keeps the dizzy spells away.
#3 Electrolyte Levels
Too much or too little potassium or sodium can be related to dizziness. A blood test can check your electrolyte levels and there are plenty of ways to get sodium and potassium levels regulated assuming there isn’t a serious underlying cause (i.e., potassium levels may spike due to reduced kidney function).
Anemia can cause everything from exhaustion to dizziness. If too much blood is lost, this can cause a person to become anemic very quickly. As a result, this is a common occurrence for menstruating women. This is another condition that can be easily diagnosed using a blood test. There are also numerous treatments to increase red blood cell levels.
Stress is more of a trigger than a cause, but dizziness is a common symptom for people with anxiety disorders. Just be careful to discern whether dizziness is related to stress and anxiety or if it is due to high blood pressure as this is a more serious condition.
#6 Meniere’s Disease
One of the primary symptoms of Meniere’s disease is recurring bouts of vertigo. It is a rare vestibular condition that occurs when something has caused one ear (although occasionally both) to be unable to drain properly. The resulting fluid buildup leads to vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear.
#7 Heart Disease
This is one of the most serious causes of dizziness. If you are having symptoms of a heart attack, you need immediate medical attention. Dizziness, however, can also be related to high blood pressure, low blood pressure, an arrhythmia, a heart valve deformity, or other heart issues.
#8 Neurological Conditions
If dizziness is accompanied by stoke symptoms, time is of the essence, and emergency medical attention is a must. However, there are many other neurological conditions that can cause dizziness such as MS (multiple sclerosis) and migraines.
#9 BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo)
This is the most common cause of dizziness. In this case, dizziness takes the form of vertigo, a false sensation of movement. Depending on who you ask, dizziness and vertigo are two different things. However, most people use the two synonymously (despite the fact that dizziness specifically refers to a feeling of lightheadedness). Vertigo is positional when head position is the primary trigger. This type of vertigo is most common after trauma, and it can arise suddenly, leading to falls.
#10 Head or Neck Trauma
Injuries such as a concussion or whiplash often lead to long-term issues with vertigo. This can indicate post-concussion syndrome, but it also may reveal the underlying causes for many cases of dizziness. When the head or neck is injured, a misalignment of the atlas (C1) at the base of the skull is common. Such a misalignment can cause the following effects:
- Changed blood flow to the brain – Since the cervical vertebrae facilitate blood flow to the brain, it makes sense that a misalignment can affect this proper flow of oxygen-rich blood.
- Altered brainstem function – Since the atlas protects the brainstem, any misalignment can put pressure on the brainstem. This may inhibit proper function which can, in turn, lead to dizziness or vertigo.
- Formation of Eustachian tube lesion – Case studies have revealed that an upper cervical misalignment can result in the gradual formation of a Eustachian tube lesion. Gradual changes in the ear’s ability to drain properly have led to Meniere’s disease for some, with up to 15 years between the injury and the onset of the syndrome.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care for Vertigo and Dizziness
If you suffer from vertigo or dizziness, especially if you have a history of head or neck trauma, it just makes sense to see an upper cervical chiropractor for an examination. If your atlas is out of alignment, this could be the underlying cause. The good news is that safe and gentle adjustments can restore proper atlas alignment and correct many of the symptoms the subluxation had been causing. To learn more, we encourage you to seek out a practitioner in your area to schedule a no-obligation consultation.