If your doctor suspects you are having or may have had a stroke, are older or suffered a blow to the head, he or she may immediately order an MRI or CT scan.
Most people visiting their doctor because of dizziness will first be asked about their symptoms and medications and then be given a physical examination. During this exam, your doctor will check how you walk and maintain your balance and how the major nerves of your central nervous system are working.
You may also need a hearing test and balance tests, including:
- Eye movement testing. Your doctor may watch the path of your eyes when you track a moving object. And you may be given an eye motion test in which water or air is placed in your ear canal.
- Head movement testing. If your doctor suspects your vertigo is caused by benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, he or she may do a simple head movement test called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver to verify the diagnosis.
- Posturography. This test tells your doctor which parts of the balance system you rely on the most and which parts may be giving you problems. You stand in your bare feet on a platform and try to keep your balance under various conditions.
- Rotary chair testing. During this test you sit in a computer-controlled chair that moves very slowly in a full circle. At faster speeds, it moves back and forth in a very small arc.
In addition, you may be given blood tests to check for infection and other tests to check heart and blood vessel health.
- Eye exam
Dizziness often gets better without treatment. Within a couple of weeks, the body usually adapts to whatever is causing it.
If you seek treatment, your doctor will base it on the cause of your condition and your symptoms. It may include medications and balance exercises. Even if no cause is found or if your dizziness persists, prescription drugs and other treatments may make your symptoms more manageable.
- Water pills. If you have Meniere's disease, your doctor may prescribe a water pill (diuretic). This along with a low-salt diet may help reduce how often you have dizziness episodes.
- Medications that relieve dizziness and nausea. Your doctor may prescribe drugs to provide immediate relief from vertigo, dizziness and nausea, including prescription antihistamines and anticholinergics. Many of these drugs cause drowsiness.
- Anti-anxiety medications. Diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax) are in a class of drugs called benzodiazepines, which may cause addiction. They may also cause drowsiness.
- Preventive medicine for migraine. Certain medicines may help prevent migraine attacks.
- Head position maneuvers. A technique called canalith repositioning (or Epley maneuver) usually helps resolve benign paroxysmal positional vertigo more quickly than simply waiting for your dizziness to go away. It can be done by your doctor, an audiologist or a physical therapist and involves maneuvering the position of your head. It's usually effective after one or two treatments. Before undergoing this procedure, tell your care provider if you have a neck or back condition, a detached retina, or blood vessel problems.
- Balance therapy. You may learn specific exercises to help make your balance system less sensitive to motion. This physical therapy technique is called vestibular rehabilitation. It is used for people with dizziness from inner ear conditions such as vestibular neuritis.
- Psychotherapy. This type of therapy may help people whose dizziness is caused by anxiety disorders.
Surgical or other procedures
- Injections. Your doctor may inject your inner ear with the antibiotic gentamicin to disable the balance function. The unaffected ear takes over that function.
- Removal of the inner ear sense organ. A procedure that's rarely used is called labyrinthectomy. It disables the vestibular labyrinth in the affected ear. The other ear takes over the balance function. This technique may be used if you have serious hearing loss and your dizziness hasn't responded to other treatments.
- Canalith repositioning procedure
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Lifestyle and home remedies
If you tend to experience repeated episodes of dizziness, consider these tips:
- Be aware of the possibility of losing your balance, which can lead to falling and serious injury.
- Avoid moving suddenly and walk with a cane for stability, if needed.
- Fall-proof your home by removing tripping hazards such as area rugs and exposed electrical cords. Use nonslip mats on your bath and shower floors. Use good lighting.
- Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy. Lie still with your eyes closed in a darkened room if you're experiencing a severe episode of vertigo.
- Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you experience frequent dizziness without warning.
- Avoid using caffeine, alcohol, salt and tobacco. Excessive use of these substances can worsen your signs and symptoms.
- Drink enough fluids, eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep and avoid stress.
- If your dizziness is caused by a medication, talk with your doctor about discontinuing it or lowering the dose.
- If your dizziness comes with nausea, try an over-the-counter (nonprescription) antihistamine, such as meclizine or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine). These may cause drowsiness. Nondrowsy antihistamines aren't as effective.
- If your dizziness is caused by overheating or dehydration, rest in a cool place and drink water or a sports drink (Gatorade, Powerade, others).
Preparing for your appointment
Your family doctor or primary care provider will probably be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your dizziness. He or she you may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist or a doctor who specializes in the brain and nervous system (neurologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet. If you're scheduled for vestibular testing, your doctor will provide instructions regarding any medications to withhold the night before and what to eat on the day of testing.
- Be prepared to describe your dizziness in specific terms. When you have an episode of dizziness, do you feel like the room is spinning, or like you are spinning in the room? Do you feel like you might pass out? Your description of these symptoms is crucial to helping your doctor make a diagnosis.
- List any other health conditions or symptoms you have, including any that may seem unrelated to your dizziness. For example, if you have felt depressed or anxious recently, this is important information for your doctor.
- List key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins or supplements that you're taking.
- List questions to ask your doctor.
Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions ahead of time will help you make the most of your time together. For dizziness, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's the most likely cause of my symptoms?
- Are there any other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do you recommend?
- Is this problem likely temporary or long lasting?
- Is it possible my symptoms will go away without treatment?
- What treatment options might help?
- Do I need to follow any restrictions? For example, is it safe for me to drive?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor will likely ask you a number of questions about your dizziness, such as:
- Can you describe what you felt the first time you had an episode of dizziness?
- Is your dizziness continuous, or does it occur in spells or episodes?
- If your dizziness occurs in episodes, how long do these episodes last?
- How often do your dizziness episodes occur?
- When do your dizzy spells seem to happen, and what triggers them?
- Does your dizziness cause the room to spin or produce a sensation of motion?
- When you feel dizzy, do you also feel faint or lightheaded?
- Does your dizziness cause you to lose your balance?
- Are your symptoms accompanied by a ringing or fullness in your ears (tinnitus) or trouble hearing?
- Does your vision blur?
- Is your dizziness made worse by moving your head?
- What medications, vitamins or supplements are you taking?
What you can do in the meantime
If you tend to feel lightheaded when you stand up, take your time making changes in posture. If you have had episodes of dizziness while driving, arrange for alternate transportation while you're waiting to see your doctor.
If your dizziness causes you to feel like you might fall, take steps to reduce your risk. Keep your home well lighted and free of hazards that might cause you to trip. Avoid area rugs and exposed electrical cords. Place furniture where you're unlikely to bump into it, and use nonslip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Dec. 03, 2022
What is the diagnosis for dizzy? ›
The patient history can generally classify dizziness into one of four categories: vertigo, disequilibrium, presyncope, or lightheadedness. The main causes of vertigo are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, Meniere disease, vestibular neuritis, and labyrinthitis.What is a good treatment for dizziness? ›
Sit or lie down immediately when you feel dizzy. Lie still with your eyes closed in a darkened room if you're experiencing a severe episode of vertigo. Avoid driving a car or operating heavy machinery if you experience frequent dizziness without warning. Avoid using caffeine, alcohol, salt and tobacco.How does a neurologist diagnose dizziness? ›
Testing such as MRI, CT scans and X-rays are often used to discover if additional medical conditions may be the cause of your dizziness.What is the nursing diagnosis of dizziness? ›
There is another medical term for dizziness which is vertigo or BPPV (benign paroxysmal position al vertigo), a medical diagnosis in which a patient common experiences a spinning sensation inside their head which can be accompanied by nausea or vomiting which can be a sign of it.What disease causes random dizziness? ›
Common causes of dizziness
labyrinthitis – an inner ear infection that affects your hearing and balance, and can lead to a severe form of dizziness called vertigo. migraine – dizziness may come on before or after the headache, or even without the headache.
The most common conditions are benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular migraine, Menière's disease and vestibular neuritis/labyrinthitis. Unfortunately, each of these conditions can produce symptoms very similar to those of stroke or TIA, so careful attention to symptom details is required.What is the best natural remedy for dizziness? ›
- lying down and closing the eyes.
- drinking plenty of water and keeping hydrated.
- reducing stress plus alcohol and tobacco intake.
- getting plenty of sleep.
Dizziness has many possible causes, including inner ear disturbance, motion sickness and medication effects. Sometimes it's caused by an underlying health condition, such as poor circulation, infection or injury. The way dizziness makes you feel and your triggers provide clues for possible causes.What blood tests are done for dizziness? ›
Blood Work A blood test can reveal problems that could be to blame for your dizziness complaints. Your doctor might check your blood cell count, thyroid function, blood sugar levels, electrolytes, and more. Allergy Tests Sometimes allergies are the culprit for vertigo symptoms.Will an MRI show why I am dizzy? ›
Conclusions: Structural abnormalities of the brain and neck are common in both dizzy and non-dizzy subjects. “Routine” MRI is unlikely to reveal a specific cause for dizziness.
Do I need MRI for dizziness? ›
What test to order? Regardless of suspicion for peripheral or central etiology, for episodic or persistent vertigo, if imaging is indicated the best test is MRI Brain and internal auditory canal with and without IV contrast.Should I see an ENT or neurologist for dizziness? ›
If you have been experiencing vertigo for more than a day or two, it's so severe that you can't stand or walk, or you are vomiting frequently and can't keep food down, you should make an appointment with a neurologist.What is the nursing diagnosis of a patient with? ›
According to NANDA-I, the official definition of the nursing diagnosis is: “Nursing diagnosis is a clinical judgment about individual, family, or community responses to actual or potential health problems/life processes.What are the three nursing diagnosis? ›
A nursing diagnosis has typically three components: (1) the problem and its definition, (2) the etiology, and (3) the defining characteristics or risk factors (for risk diagnosis). BUILDING BLOCKS OF A DIAGNOSTIC STATEMENT. Components of an NDx may include problem, etiology, risk factors, and defining characteristics.What is the most common cause of dizziness in the elderly? ›
Although the causes of dizziness in older people are multifactorial, peripheral vestibular dysfunction is one of the most frequent causes. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most frequent form of vestibular dysfunction in the elderly, followed by Meniere's disease.What medications cause dizziness? ›
The list of drugs that may cause vertigo or dizziness is impressive. It includes anti-convulsants, anesthetics, anti-depressants, analgesics, anti-diabetics, contraceptives, anti-inflammatory drugs, cardiovascular drugs, sedatives, tranquillizers, cytotoxic agents, and anti-hypertensive agents.What is idiopathic dizziness? ›
Abstract. Most patients suffering from chronic idiopathic dizziness do not present signs of vestibular dysfunction or organic failures of other kinds. Hence, this kind of dizziness is commonly seen as psychogenic in nature, sharing commonalities with specific phobias, panic disorder, and generalized anxiety.What are the red flags for dizziness? ›
“Red flag” symptoms should alert you to a non-vestibular cause: persistent, worsening vertigo or dysequilibrium; atypical “non-peripheral” vertigo, such as vertical movement; severe headache, especially early in the morning; diplopia; cranial nerve palsies; dysarthria, ataxia, or other cerebellar signs; and ...How long is too long for dizziness? ›
How long will the dizziness last? Depending on the cause, mild vertigo usually lasts no longer than 1 to 2 weeks. More severe vertigo can last several weeks. With Ménière's disease, the vertigo may come and go, or it might become an ongoing problem.What part of the brain affects dizziness? ›
Central vertigo is caused by problems in part of your brain, such as the cerebellum (which is located at the bottom of the brain) or the brainstem (the lower part of the brain that's connected to the spinal cord). Causes of central vertigo include migraines and, less commonly, brain tumours.
What over-the-counter medicine can I take for dizziness? ›
Sometimes doctors recommend antihistamines, such as meclizine (Antivert), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), or dimenhydrinate (Dramamine) to help with vertigo episodes.Are bananas good for dizziness? ›
Potassium is crucial in fluid regulation in the body. Build up of inner ear fluid can cause vertigo, so eating these fruits can also help reduce symptoms: Bananas. Grapes.Can lack of vitamin D cause dizziness? ›
Vitamin D deficiencies can also result in bone diseases such as rickets in children and osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults. But you may not be aware that if you're not getting enough vitamin D, you may also suffer from dizziness, headaches, and yes, low energy and fatigue.What does long term dizziness mean? ›
Low blood pressure and low blood sugar are two common causes of dizziness and fatigue, but they are usually temporary conditions. However, unmanaged diabetes, malnutrition, anemia, and obstructive breathing disorders (e.g. sleep apnea, emphysema) can cause persistent dizziness and fatigue.Can anxiety and stress cause dizziness? ›
Dizziness is a common symptom of anxiety stress and, and If one is experiencing anxiety, dizziness can result. On the other hand, dizziness can be anxiety producing. The vestibular system is responsible for sensing body position and movement in our surroundings.Can chronic anxiety cause dizziness? ›
Chronic anxiety, or anxiety that occurs over an extended period of time, can cause a wide range of symptoms – but can anxiety make you dizzy? Surprisingly, yes. In fact, dizziness is a common symptom associated with both acute and chronic anxiety.Should I see a cardiologist for dizziness? ›
If you experience any of the following, you should definitely make an appointment to come in and see us as soon as possible: new or severe episode of dizziness or lightheadedness. sudden dizziness that you can't attribute to a cause. any change in your pattern of dizziness.What imaging is best for dizziness? ›
MRI Scans. In some people with vertigo—in particular those who also have hearing loss—doctors may recommend an MRI scan to obtain a closer look at the inner ear and surrounding structures.Can your ear cause dizziness? ›
Dizziness is often caused by problems of the inner ear and is treatable. Common causes of dizziness related to the inner ear include: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), migraine and inflammation of the inner ear balance apparatus (vestibular neuritis).Do you go to an ENT for dizziness? ›
The vestibular, or balance system, is located in the inner ear. Therefore, if you are experiencing prolonged, recurrent or sudden dizziness, seeing an otolaryngologist (ENT) and/or an audiologist is a good place to start. Testing is often required to determine the specific cause of dizziness.
Is dizziness considered neurological? ›
While it is a common sensation, it can also be a symptom of a serious condition. When you experience severe dizziness or ongoing dizzy spells, it may be a sign of stroke or other neurological disorders.Can a pinched nerve in the neck cause dizziness? ›
But for people who've experienced whiplash, concussions, or head trauma, the neck might be exactly the cause of their dizziness. Can a pinched nerve in the neck cause dizziness? The short answer is yes. And it's referred to as Cervical Vertigo or Cervicogenic Dizziness.What type of doctor treats balance disorders? ›
Diagnosis of balance disorders
If your primary care doctor suspects you have a balance disorder, he or she may refer you to a ENT specialist for further testing. An ENT specialist, also known as an otolaryngologist, is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the ears, nose, neck and throat.
Hearing loss often prompts patients to present to ear, nose and throat, or audiological medicine departments. However, patients with isolated vestibular failure are often seen by a neurologist because of their dizziness, gait unsteadiness and oscillopsia without any hearing symptoms.What are examples of actual diagnosis? ›
Actual diagnosis - a statement about a health problem that the client has and the benefit from nursing care. An example of an actual nursing diagnosis is: Ineffective airway clearance related to decreased energy as manifested by an ineffective cough.What are the basic nursing diagnosis? ›
Definition of a Nursing Diagnosis
A nursing diagnosis is defined by NANDA International (2013) as a clinical judgment concerning a human response to health conditions/life processes, or vulnerability for that response, by an individual, family, group, or community.
Diagnosis. The nursing diagnosis is the nurse's clinical judgment about the client's response to actual or potential health conditions or needs.What are the diagnosis of a patient? ›
The process of identifying a disease, condition, or injury based on the signs and symptoms a patient is having and the patient's health history and physical exam. Further testing, such as blood tests, imaging tests, and biopsies, may be done after a clinical diagnosis is made.Can a nurse tell a patient their diagnosis? ›
As a staff nurse, you do not have the authority to admit a patient and provide a diagnosis unless after all of the requirements of your policy are met, you make a nursing diagnosis. If you have not reviewed your institution's policy and procedure on admissions, you should do so.Can a nurse give a diagnosis? ›
Specifically, registered nurses can make a nursing diagnosis that identifies a condition—not a disease or disorder—as the cause of a client's signs or symptoms. This diagnosis is a clinical judgment about the cause of a client's mental or physical condition.
How do you write a diagnosis statement? ›
To write a problem-focused diagnostic statement, use the problem-etiology-symptom (PES) method. Start with the diagnosis itself, followed by the etiologic factors (related factors in an actual diagnosis), then identify the major signs/symptoms (defining characteristics) that are appearing in the patient.What is an example of a 2 part nursing diagnosis? ›
TWO-PART NURSING DIAGNOSIS: Risk Nursing Diagnosis are written in the two-part format. The first part indicates the diagnostic label and the second part indicates the presence of risk factors or confirmation for a risk nursing diagnosis. Example: 'Risk for infection related to compromised immune system''.What is a risk diagnosis in nursing? ›
A risk nursing diagnosis is “a clinical judgment concerning the vulnerability of an individual, family, group, or community for developing an undesirable human response to health conditions/life processes.” A risk nursing diagnosis must be supported by risk factors that contribute to the increased vulnerability.What are the four types of dizziness? ›
More often, each subjective sensation of dizziness can be identified more precisely as one of four types of dizziness: vertigo, disequilibrium, presyncope, or lightheadedness.What is the root cause of dizziness? ›
The most common causes include benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere's syndrome and ear infections. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) makes you dizzy when you change your head or body position (like bending over).Can a brain scan detect dizziness? ›
In another study of 21 elderly patients with dizziness, ischaemic changes on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were present in six of the eight patients who underwent imaging. Findings such as these have led to the suggestion that brain imaging might be useful in elucidating the cause of dizziness.