Causes may be:
- A drop in blood pressure when standing— orthostatic hypotension
- Problems with the nerves
- Health problems that affect how the heart pumps blood to the body
- Anxiety disorders
- Alcohol use disorder or illegal drug use
- Infection or fever
- Brain injury
- Low blood sugar— hypoglycemia
It may also be caused by certain medicines, such as:
- Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
- Calcium channel blockers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Monoamine oxidase inhibitors
|Blood Flow to the Brain|
|In some cases, dizziness may be due to decreased blood flow to the brain.|
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Problems may be:
- Balance problems
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vision or hearing problems
- Fast heartbeat
When Should I Call My Doctor?
Call your doctor if you have:
- Dizziness that increases or gets worse
- Signs of an infection, such as fever or chills
- Concern that your medicine may be causing dizziness
- Hearing loss
- A headache that happens with dizziness
- Other symptoms that happen with dizziness
When Should I Call for Medical Help Right Away?
Call for medical help or go to the emergency room right away if you have:
- A head injury
- Rapid, irregular heartbeat, or chest pain
- High fever
Call for emergency medical services right away if you or a loved one has signs of a stroke:
- Face drooping—one side may be numb and smile is uneven
- Arm weakness—one arm will drift down when both are raised
- Speech problems—slurring or cannot repeat a short sentence
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Blood tests may be done to look for a cause.
Images may be taken. This can be done with:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
Other tests may be:
- Tilt table test to see how a change in position affects heart and blood pressure
- Hearing and vision tests
- EKG to test the electrical activity of the heart
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Edits to original content made by Denver Health.
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All rights reserved.
a (Nonvertigo Dizziness)
Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.familydoctor.org
BC Balance and Dizziness Disorders Society http://www.balanceanddizziness.org
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). ENThealth—American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv. Accessed January 26, 2021.
Dizziness in adults—approach to the patient. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/dizziness-in-adults-approach-to-the-patient. Accessed January 26, 2021.
Muncie HL, Sirmans SM, et al. Dizziness: Approach to Evaluation and Management. Am Fam Physician. 2017 Feb 1;95(3):154-162.
Stroke symptoms. American Stroke Association website. Available at: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Stroke-Warning-Signs-and-Symptoms%5FUCM%5F308528%5FSubHomePage.jsp. Accessed January 26, 2021.