Lightheadedness usually is not a cause for concern unless it
is severe, does not go away, or occurs with other symptoms such as an irregular
heartbeat or fainting. Lightheadedness can lead to falls and other injuries.
Protect yourself from injury if you feel lightheaded:
- Lie down for a minute or two. This will allow
more blood to flow to your brain. After lying down, sit up slowly and remain
sitting for 1 to 2 minutes before slowly standing up.
- Rest. It is
not unusual to develop lightheadedness during some
viral illnesses, such as a cold or the flu. Resting
will help prevent attacks of lightheadedness.
- Do not drive a motor
vehicle, operate equipment, or climb on a ladder while you are
- Do not use substances that can affect your circulation,
including caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and illegal drugs.
- Do not
dehydrated, which can cause or increase
lightheadedness, when you have an illness that causes diarrhea, vomiting, or a
fever. Drink more fluids, especially water. Other fluids are also helpful, such
as fruit juice mixed to half-strength with water,
rehydration drinks, weak tea with sugar, clear broth,
and gelatin dessert. If you have another medical condition, such as kidney
disease or heart disease, that limits the amount of fluids you are allowed to
have, do not drink more than this amount without first talking to your
If you have vertigo:
- Do not lie flat on your back. Prop yourself up
slightly to relieve the spinning sensation.
- Move slowly to avoid
the risk of falling.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
- Nausea or vomiting persists or
- Your symptoms become more severe or frequent.