Understanding Dizziness -- Treatment

Medically Reviewed by Sabrina Felson, MD on April 21, 2021

How Do I Know If I Have Dizziness?

Because dizziness can involve so many parts of the body -- the ears, brain, or heart, to name a few -- your doctor will probably take a careful history of your symptoms, do a brief exam, and make a proper referral to a specialist if necessary.

Make sure you describe the sensation you feel thoroughly, since dizziness can be many things to many people.

What Are the Treatments for Dizziness?

Treatment depends on the type of dizziness you are experiencing. In general, treatment involves finding the underlying cause of the dizziness, whether a disease, a behavior, or an environmental factor.

If the dizziness is caused by medication, your doctor may reduce the amount you take or switch you to another drug.

If you are experiencing vertigo, your doctor may perform the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. This test is used to diagnose and treat benign positional vertigo, which is caused by a sudden change in the position of your head. You suddenly feel like you are spinning.

For vertigo, your doctor may prescribe bed rest or medications that suppress the activity of the inner ear like the antihistamine meclizine or sedatives. Surgery may be necessary for more severe cases, such as those caused by Meniere's disease.

Disequilibrium or imbalance can be treated with balance therapy, which uses sophisticated devices to make a person relearn their sense of balance, but psychological methods may also be necessary. Stress management and relaxation therapy may help.

Treatment for severe lightheadedness, also called presyncope, requires a detailed medical exam. Depending on the cause, treatment options include compression stockings to prevent blood from pooling in the your legs or medications. Your doctor may also treat you for heart disease.

Accidents are more likely to occur while you are dizzy so use caution while driving or operating machinery.

WebMD Medical Reference



The American Academy of Otolaryngologyc -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Dizziness and Motion Sickness."

The Mayo Clinic: "Dizziness." "Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)."

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