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Dizziness (cont.)

What are the causes of dizziness?

Dizziness may be attributed to a wide variety of causes. Sometimes doctors find no specific diagnosis for the affected individual, but some causes of dizziness are dangerous. Some causes of dizziness include:

Dizziness caused by heart diseases or blood pressure problems

  • Heart attack, arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms), heart rate too fast or slow
  • Weakened, aged, or diseased heart muscle (cardiomyopathy), toxins or drugs that affect the rate or force of the contractions of the heart
  • Extremely high blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure, which can have multiple causes including diseases of the heart, bleeding disorders that cause anemia, and adverse reactions to medications

Dizziness caused by brain diseases or conditions

  • Stroke, tumor, headaches, migraines,
  • Loss or decrease of blood supply to the brain, such as fainting (syncope or vasovagal syncope)
  • Dementia or confusion

Dizziness caused by medications

Almost all medications list dizziness as a possible side effect, but it is more common with some types of medicines

Dizziness caused by metabolic disorders

Dizziness caused by aging

  • Reduced capacity for exercise or activity, weakness, and deconditioning
  • Reduced ability for the blood circulation to compensate for quickly assuming an upright position (orthostatic hypotension)
  • Hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis)
  • Neuropathy (a progressive dysfunction of the nerves that is caused by different illnesses, especially diabetes)
  • Menopause
  • Poor eyesight and coordination
  • Dementia

Dizziness caused by psychiatric conditions

  • Depression, anxiety, or panic disorder
  • Hyperventilation is from breathing too fast or too deeply, usually from anxiety or metabolic disorders
  • Somatization is the conversion of a mental illness, such as anxiety or depression, into physical symptoms. Often, the patient may be unaware of the underlying mental illness and insist they have only physical complaints.

Dizziness caused by other illness

  • Internal bleeding or hemorrhage
  • Anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Prolonged bed rest, causing weakness and loss of ability to compensate for assuming an upright position infections
  • Endocrine diseases in which hormone-producing organs such as the thyroid, adrenal glands, and pituitary gland affect hydration, salt balance, and function of other organs
  • Allergies may cause wheezing or low blood pressure, or can trigger sinusitis, which can result in dizziness
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2014

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