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First Aid & Emergencies

Dizziness Treatment

Call 911 if the person has:

  • A change in vision or speech
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid, irregular, or very slow heartbeat
  • Convulsions or ongoing vomiting
  • Dizziness that comes after a head injury
  • Double vision
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Fever and stiff neck
  • Inability to move an arm or leg
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness or tingling
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  • A change in vision or speech
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid, irregular, or very slow heartbeat
  • Convulsions or ongoing vomiting
  • Dizziness that comes after a head injury
  • Double vision
  • Fainting or loss of consciousness
  • Fever and stiff neck
  • Inability to move an arm or leg
  • Slurred speech
  • Numbness or tingling

1. Treat Symptoms

  • The person should sit down or lie still.
  • If the person gets light-headed when standing up, the person should stand up slowly.
  • Avoid sudden changes in position.
  • If the person is thirsty, have him or her drink fluids.
  • Avoid bright lights.

2. Call a Health Care Professional

Call a health care professional if:

  • This is the first time the person has been dizzy.
  • The dizziness is different than before or doesn't go away quickly.

3. Follow Up

At the health care provider's office or hospital, the next steps depend on the particular case.

  • The person may get oxygen or IV fluids to treat dehydration.
  • If blood tests reveal abnormal blood chemistry (electrolyte levels), this will be corrected.
  • Health care providers may start emergency treatment for heart attack or stroke, blood transfusion, or surgery.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Scott Keller, MD on November 17, 2013

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