A feeling of floating, wooziness or heavy-headednessThese feelings may be triggered or worsened by walking, standing up or moving your head. This content does not have an Arabic version. Some people over age 60 have few, if any, symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), while others experience the same symptoms younger people do. Peripheral vestibular disorders. You may become dehydrated if you're overheated, if you aren't eating or drinking enough, or if you're sick. Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Even if the lightheadedness does not have a serious cause, it could lead to serious injuries from a fall. Heat injury and heat exhaustion. With inner ear disorders, your brain receives signals from the inner ear that aren't consistent with what your eyes and sensory nerves are receiving. The episode may last seconds or days and may recur. Some people are simply predisposed to feeling lightheaded or even fainting when they get hot and sweaty and lose too much fluid. If you feel lightheaded, Dr. Grossman recommends having a drink of water or orange juice and lying down. Here’s exactly what to eat when you have a cold or flu. It's usually effective, but the problem may recur. 15 Hidden Reasons You're Not Losing Weight, Here's Exactly Why You Always Have to Pee. Some people are simply predisposed to feeling lightheaded or even fainting when they … Experiencing dizziness while driving a car or operating heavy machinery can increase the likelihood of an accident. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Blame dehydration and low blood sugar: You probably don’t feel much like eating or drinking, but both can keep lightheadedness and other awful flu symptoms at bay, Dr. Burroughs Peña says. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Vertigo is what results as your brain works to sort out the confusion. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. This happens because they affect your brain directly or they slow your heart rate or lower your blood pressure in a way that can provoke those symptoms, Dr. Phillips says. Get emergency medical care if you experience new, severe dizziness or vertigo along with any of the following: Loop-shaped canals in your inner ear contain fluid and fine, hairlike sensors that help you keep your balance. Carbon monoxide poisoning FAQs. That’s because not eating enough can seriously mess with your blood sugar levels—and when your blood sugar dips too low, you may feel lightheaded, since your brain isn’t getting the fuel—aka glucose (a type of sugar)—that it needs for energy. But if you have diabetes and take medication to lower blood sugar, lightheadedness should be taken seriously, as it might be a sign your blood sugar is dipping dangerously low, she adds, which can lead to seizures and unconsciousness. "If they work too well, they'll lower your blood pressure too much and make you lightheaded. This is more of a metabolic concern, Dr. Burroughs Peña says. “It’s still a blood pressure change that causes the lightheadedness, but it’s an immune reaction that causes it.”. If you’re dizzy, you may also experience a sensation of spinning that’s called vertigo. Dizziness that creates the false sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving is called vertigo. Your nervous system essentially goes into overdrive in these scenarios, Thiruganasambandamoorthy says, and your blood pressure drops suddenly, leading to lightheadedness. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2018. Shepard NT (expert opinion). Accessed Aug. 5, 2018. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 4, 2018. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Valve problems can restrict blood flow and may cause lightheadedness or dizziness, especially during exercise, she says. A common symptom of anxiety is a feeling that your mind isn't working properly. Check out the risk estimator at In: Conn's Current Therapy 2018. Approach to the patient with dizziness. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. “It’s common in a hot room, like standing in church in the summer,” Thiruganasambandamoorthy says. Get health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School. You may need an intravenous infusion of fluid. Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Dizziness is a term used to describe a range of sensations, such as feeling faint, woozy, weak or unsteady. That kind of experience immediately makes emergency docs think of abnormal heart rhythms, which are the most common cause of sudden cardiac death, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your sense of balance depends on the combined input from the various parts of your sensory system. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Most melanomas come in the form of a new spot on the skin, not changes to an existing mole. Within these cells are tiny particles (otoconia) that help monitor the position of your head in relation to gravity and linear motion, such as going up and down in an elevator or moving forward and backward in a car. Knowing your cardiovascular risk can help you decide to make healthy changes. Should I worry about a sudden swollen tongue? "Don't ignore it. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? Unfortunately, lightheadedness is also one of the most common symptoms of anxiety, especially during anxiety attacks. "When you don't have enough blood sugar, every system in your body goes on reserve to use as little energy as possible, including your brain, making you feel lightheaded or confused," says Dr. Grossman. 9th ed. But don't ignore bouts of dizziness, warns Dr. Grossman. Most of the time, grabbing a bite to eat will resolve your symptoms. All rights reserved. Instead, it’s … The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss, Beyond "bad" cholesterol: A closer look at your blood lipids, Heart-related complications in people hospitalized with the flu, Why you should move — even just a little — throughout the day, Blood test could find Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear, Use topical painkillers for strains and sprains, 5 factors to help you gauge where COVID-19 risk is highest, 5 things to know about your morning cup of joe, Gum disease linked to an increased risk for cancer, More daily movement may lower cancer deaths, Oral health problems may raise cancer risk. An irregular heartbeat, called an arrhythmia, means your heart beats either too slow or too fast, which can in turn affect the blood supply that reaches your brain, Dr. Phillips says.

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