Dizziness: What are the usual causes?

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There are 2 forms of dizziness that you should be familiar with. These 2 general forms of dizziness produce distinct symptoms and have their distinct sets of causes.

Types of dizziness

  • Lightheadedness – when it comes to lightheadedness, the individual feels weak and faint where he/she is about to pass out. These symptoms can be accompanied by an impulse to sit or lie down. In case they resist the need to get down and try to stay upright, they might end up with syncope or an episode where he/she loses consciousness.
  • Vertigo – this is a sensation where the surroundings are moving around as if the room is spinning. Those who experience vertigo might feel as if they are whirling and out of balance. This urges them to hold on something to prevent being flung out of balance. It can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

What are the causes of dizziness?


Generally, lightheadedness can occur from time to time, usually if standing too rapidly.

Generally, lightheadedness can occur from time to time, usually if standing too rapidly. It is typically due to a rapid drop in the blood pressure.

In case the lightheadedness becomes persistent or frequent or if syncope occurs, assessment by a doctor is required. Some of the usual causes of lightheadedness include:

  • Dehydration
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Bleeding
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Using alcohol, certain drugs or tobacco
  • Dysautonomia
  • Vasovagal syncope


Vertigo is often triggered by an issue in the inner ear such as an ear infection but can also be caused by other issues that involve the brainstem such as stroke or multiple sclerosis.

With this type of dizziness, it should be assessed by a doctor. If vertigo is accompanied by numbness, double vision, muscle weakness or tingling, it might be an indication of a serious neurological condition.

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