6 facts about dizziness and vertigo

Whenever most of us feel dizzy, we have found ourselves thinking it’s because, say, we are suffering from flu, any other illness or are recovering from one.

We, however, need to realize that occasional dizziness is very common in adults. If you are suffering from vertigo, that may be a serious condition. So let’s get down to facts to comprehend how the two are different.

  • Dizziness is a common condition in adults and vertigo is surely a related but more serious condition affecting nearly 40 percent of people over age 40 at least once in their lifetime.
  • The main difference between the two conditions is that vertigo can cause nausea and vomiting, which may be a symptom of a serious balance disorder. On the other hand, dizziness simply makes you unbalanced momentarily. However, dizzy spells can also vary in their degree of severity. When dizzy, you may feel lightheaded or disoriented. If you have vertigo, you would feel the space around you spinning. Movement of the head or body can worsen the symptoms.
  • Vertigo can be often linked to migraine, with about 40 percent of people who have migraines experiencing severe dizziness or vertigo. People with a higher level of anxiety may be abnormally sensitive to visual stimulation, and may feel extreme levels of dizziness or vertigo when watching moving objects or walking through a bright space.
  • Dizziness can sometimes be a sign of a heart condition. Leaking or narrow heart valves, arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation, and atherosclerosis can cause dizziness because they reduce blood flow to the brain.
  • A severe vitamin B12 deficiency is one of the most overlooked causes of dizziness. It may lead to a number of neurological problems, including feeling off-balance and having low blood pressure and decreased blood flow to the brain.
  • Dizziness usually gets better by itself or is easily treated. If it persists, it’s advisable to visit your health care provider. Vertigo can be prevented by controlling risk factors for stroke—keeping blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose levels in check. A health care professional can conduct a full neurological exam and suggest the best treatment as per your condition.
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The medications you may have been prescribed can trigger a dizzy spell. If you are nauseous often and have headache spells or a heightened sensitivity to light and movement, visit your physician before taking any self-prescribed medication.

Both the conditions are treatable. A healthy lifestyle may keep them at bay, but at the same time, it’s advisable you stay aware of how your body reacts to bright light, sound and movement.

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