Dizziness Treatment

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD on January 21, 2020

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

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 them drink fluids.
  • Avoid bright lights.

2. Call a Healthcare Professional

Call a healthcare 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.
  • Healthcare providers may start emergency treatment for heart attack or stroke, blood transfusion, or surgery.
WebMD Medical Reference



Subbarao, I. American Medical Association Handbook of First Aid and Emergency Care, Random House, 2009.

Dizziness Information from eMedicineHealth.

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