Everyone will experience dizziness in their lifetime but how do you know when it is serious or not? The fact that someone can lose their balance and get blurred vision randomly is a sign there’s something not quite right...
Many people can relate to feeling dizzy after getting up too quickly. This is the most common form and it has to do with the brain/body’s slow reaction time for adapting blood flow and pressure. This is only a serious issue if it happens all the time but usually it’s just cause for laughing at your friend...
On the other hand, some individuals, maybe you, have to live their life feeling this way a lot of the time and you can imagine how difficult that would be.
I always ask my patients when they come in office, “What is your dizziness preventing you from doing?” I get all kinds of answers...
Most of my patients, in some form or other, see that this condition compromises the way in which they interact and participate in the world around them, whether that be with their kids, job, hobbies, goals…
Now, there are many causes of dizziness and this is not the time to discuss them in their entirety. The purpose of this article is to clearly identify when you need to take action.
The good news is that the majority of these cases can be helped dramatically with easy and non-invasive treatments.
So, let’s dive into some easy questions to help you figure out if your dizziness can be helped and if you can find freedom...
#1 : Is it sudden?
For many people this is the common experience. They might be working out, or doing chores around the house, maybe playing with their kids or grandkids and out of nowhere they get dizzy. For these people it’s very important to figure out exactly what they were doing down to the precise location and position of their body.
This is an indicator used to decipher which condition they could be dealing with and it most often is some form of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)- the most common form of vertigo that people suffer with. Some people with seasonal allergies also experience this and often times find relief with antihistamines.
#2 : Does the room feel like it's spinning?
(And which direction does it go?)
This is an important question because it is the definition of vertigo. This could be another form of BPPV but it also can be related to other forms of vertigo or even Meniere’s disease.
#3 : Is there a certain motion or position that provokes it?
This goes with the first question and how crucial it is to be aware of yourself during these episodes. If the answer is yes than you might have BPPV. This condition has really easy treatments and great outcomes.
#4 : Are there any associated symptoms like vomiting, nausea, or fainting?
Usually fainting should be a red flag in any circumstance, whether or not it’s accompanied by dizziness. Often times vomiting and nausea are associated if the person feels dizzy frequently or in some cases when they are also a migraine sufferer. Check out more information about migraines and what you can do about them today.
#5 : Is it accompanied by hearing loss (in one or both ears) and/or ringing in the ears?
These are the classic symptoms associated with Meniere’s disease. There is no known cause of this condition but it is believed to be related to having too much fluid in the inner ear (endolymphatic hydrops).
Many people claim this is an incurable disease but there are actually specialized and specific treatments that offer support to people with these symptoms, often times with great results. This is a specialty that we work with. You can find more about Meniere’s here.
#6 : Did these symptoms start after head trauma?
Anatomy comes into play here. There are two locations that someone can “experience” dizziness: 1) in the inner ear (peripheral nervous system) or 2) the brain (central nervous system).
Head trauma causes increased inflammation in the brain which in turn releases a cascade of events that can culminate in more brain destruction. If this has happened to you in big or small ways- could be a sports injury or even bumping your head- it could have caused destruction in the particular areas of your brain that control this. And this leads into our last question...
#7 : Do you feel it all the time?
Going back to our first questions, people often either have “episodes” or it can be constant.
If you are experiencing constant symptoms then this is something that you need to get taken care of right now. When people have constant dizziness it feel hard to walk, impossible to focus (making things like driving or having relationships too difficult), and they often find no relief. This can have many causes but Meniere’s and brain degeneration are the most common in our clinic. If it is brain related then that means your brain is degenerating faster than it is making new connections (plasticity). These effects can be reversed if a Doctor of Functional Neurology can retrain your brain faster than the degeneration process, but the longer these symptoms go untreated the worse the outcomes.
If you experience “episodes,” although this may not be as serious as feeling it constantly, in my experience with patients, it can be just as limiting and frustrating.
Sometimes, the anxiety of never knowing when it will come up can be just as daunting as the episodes themselves.
Some of you may have said yes to all of these questions and some maybe yes to a few... Regardless, the real question you need to ask yourself is what is my vertigo keeping me from doing? Maybe it’s taking road trips, throwing my kids up in the air, focusing on a computer, or simply waking up in the morning with a carefree freedom and not a cloud of worry over me of whether or not my plans might get spoiled because I have another dizzy spell…
There is hope. There are options that will give you lasting freedom. We’re here to tell you freedom is not only possible but we see it every day.
Gain back the freedom that your dizziness has taken. Contact your Functional Neurologist. They are trained in diagnosing and supporting people with these conditions (and other forms of dizziness not mentioned in this article) with natural and practical approaches first to make way for lasting healing.
If you have questions related to this article or you would like more information, please contact us or subscribe to find out more. If you are ready to get freedom, call us now.
*This article is not meant to treat or diagnose any one who struggles with dizziness or related issues. You should see a physician regarding the symptoms that you are experiencing.*