Lightheadedness is not the same as dizziness. Dizziness is a sensation of spinning around and feeling weak and unbalanced. During lightheadedness, people feel that they might faint. There exist a sensation of nausea, unsteadiness, blurred vision, body heaviness, and sweating. The person may feel as if the head is weightless. It can last briefly, for long, or rarely recurring.
Feeling light-headed is not something to worry about and it disappears on their own or could be treated easily. The sensation of light-headedness goes away or decreases when you lie down. If you frequently feel lightheaded, while there’s nothing serious about it, it can still affect your daily routine life. It’s better to consult your physician to clear your doubts.
Lightheadedness symptoms include -
- Feeling of faintness
- Dizziness and giddiness
- Trouble hearing
- Unbalanced body
- Blurred vision
- Body heaviness
- Heart palpitations
- Slurring of speech
- The sensation of heavy head
Symptoms associated with heart problems include -
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms and they are interfering in your daily life activities, then don't wait.
Causes of lightheadedness
There could be many reasons for feeling lightheaded and dizzy. They are as follows -
- Temporary insufficient supply of blood or oxygen to the brain due to a decrease in blood pressure.
- Severe dehydration resulting from vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and other health problems.
- Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis
- High altitude sickness
- Common cold and flu
- Low blood pressure
- (Hypoglycemia) low blood sugar
- Hyperventilation (deep or rapid breathing)
- Stress or panic attacks
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
- Heart attack
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- Pulmonary hypertension
- Pulmonary embolism
- Shock (circulatory)
- Internal bleeding
- Severe blood loss
- Drugs side-effects
- Nicotine or tobacco products for inexperienced users
- Usage of drugs
- Inner ear problems
Lightheadedness treatment is determined by the cause or the underlying problem. The problem of light-headed can be solved by the below-given options -
- Drinking lots of water or other fluids. Avoid intake of water in case of water intoxication.
- Drink fluids containing electrolytes
- If drinking is not possible due to feeling of nausea or vomiting, then intravenous fluids such as Ringer's Lactate is recommended.
- Try to eat or drink something sugary and lie down or rest for some time.
- Avoiding sudden changes in posture when sitting or lying
- Avoiding bright lights
For more severe cases of lightheadedness, or if the feeling of light-headed stays for a long time; then the following treatment may be needed -
- Medications for anxiety, nausea, or migraine
- Water pills
- A low-salt diet
- Balance therapy such as vestibular rehabilitation (exercises to keep your body’s balance system proper and less sensitive to sudden motion).
- Psychotherapy to minimize anxiety disorder
At times, inner ear problems can also lead to balance problems. Antibiotic injections are suggested for the problematic inner ear.