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Dizziness (cont.)

How is dizziness diagnosed?

Rapid evaluation and treatment may be necessary if doctors suspect a serious cause of dizziness.

The doctor will ask detailed questions and take a history to define the type of dizzy feeling. The patient's description of the dizzy feeling may be the most important detail. The patient will be given a detailed physical exam to further define likely causes.

Tests ordered will be based on the diseases suggested by the patient's history and results of the physical exam.

  • In the emergency department, the patient may be placed on a heart monitor, electrocardiogram (ECG) may be performed, and blood studies may be ordered. Sometimes specialized tests such as a CT scan or a cardiac stress test may be ordered.
  • Rarely, the patient may have to have surgery to treat internal bleeding or hemorrhage, if this is the cause for the symptoms.
  • The patient may be hospitalized or sent to a physician specialist depending on the possible causes.
  • The doctor may find no specific cause for the dizziness, but will attempt to exclude other serious diseases.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/13/2014

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