Feeling Dizzy? 6 Possible Reasons Why
Almost all of us feel dizzy at one time or another. In fact, dizziness ranks as one of the most common reasons for doctor visits, right up there with stomach and abdominal pain, joint aches and difficulty breathing. According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, Americans were projected to spend a whopping $4.4 billion on emergency room visits for dizziness in 2015.
Dizziness is a word used to describe everything from light-headedness to vertigo, the sickening feeling that the room is spinning. “Not all dizziness is the same,” says Ronald Winchel, M.D., assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. Because there are so many causes—an inner ear disturbance, medication effects, motion sickness, anxiety or an underlying health condition, among them—it’s not uncommon for many individuals to visit doctor after doctor and undergo test after test without receiving a diagnosis.
“When individuals go to a doctor, they need to really describe what they feel,” Dr. Winchel says. “They should explain when they do feel dizzy, what makes it better or worse, whether it’s a matter of changing how they sit or stand, how long it lasts.”
There are, however, six common reasons for dizziness that may help lead to a diagnosis: