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If you get dizzy spells, it’s important to find out why

12:00am | & Health

Do you suffer from dizzy spells, suddenly finding that you feel lightheaded, off-balance or even fainting?

It’s surprisingly common to sometimes feel dizzy, and it’s not usually serious in itself, although it can have serious consequences if it causes you to fall, especially for older people.

Symptoms of dizziness include feeling off-balance, ‘giddy’, suddenly woozy or lightheaded and even feeling that you might ‘black out’. You might also feel like you’re spinning or that things around you are spinning, which is usually classed as ‘vertigo’, with attacks lasting from just a few seconds to several hours.

Dizziness usually goes away on its own, but it can be distressing while it’s happening and the real danger is that it could cause you to lose control and hurt yourself. It usually goes away on its own or is a symptom of being ill with something else. After you’re treated for that ‘something else’, then the dizziness will begin to ease and disappear.

Several conditions can cause dizziness of brief dizzy spells. Common examples include ear infections, migraine, dehydration, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, iron deficiency anaemia and motion sickness. High levels of stress or anxiety can also manifest themselves in feeling dizzy or lightheaded. As mentioned above, once the underlying condition is addressed, the dizziness will recede.

Sometimes you might experience dizziness for no obvious reason, when you’re not aware of any other illness that might be causing it. If you feel dizzy when you stand up, it is probably due to a sudden drop in blood pressure called ‘postural hypotension’.

Types of dizziness where you feel off-balance are often connected to inner ear problems, including a type of inner ear infection called ‘labyrinthitis’, which sometimes occurs after a cold or flu.If dizziness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as hearing loss, blurred vision, double vision or numbness in the face, arms or legs, it could indicate a decreased blood flow to the brain, possibly from clogged arteries.

If you have any kind of dizziness or vertigo which causes you worry, you should seek medical advice especially if you don’t know what’s causing it. This is especially true if your dizziness won’t go away or keeps coming back, or if it is linked to other symptoms such as hearing loss, ringing in your ears, impaired vision, nausea or numbness.

In most cases, dizziness is not serious and will go away, but it’s always best to be sure. As a first step you could call the NHS non-emergency helpline on 111 or speak to your local pharmacist. In either case they will be able to tell you if you need to see a doctor, or advise you on how to deal you’re your dizziness. If you already know what causes your dizziness and it isn’t getting worse or causing you particular concern, there are several things you can do to treat it yourself.

Ways to manage dizziness include getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluids (especially water), moving slowly and deliberately, and avoiding coffee, cigarettes, alcohol or other stimulants which heighten your lightheadedness. When a dizzy spell strikes you can lie down till it passes then get up slowly. Don’t lie totally flat if you feel things are spinning – use pillows to prop up your head.

Things to avoid if you suffer from dizzy spells include getting up suddenly after sitting or lying down, bending down suddenly, or anything that could prove hazardous, such as driving, using heavy machinery or climbing a stepladder.

And of course, you should be very careful using the stairs if you suffer from dizzy spells, especially if they are brought on by physical exertion. If your dizziness is likely to be long-term, perhaps linked to an underlying health condition, then installing an Acorn Stairlift in your home is a wise investment in your continued safety and independence.

Suffering a fall on the stairs can have long-lasting and life-changing consequences, especially for older people. If you suffer from dizziness which makes you prone to such an accident, then it’s common sense to take positive steps to prevent it. An Acorn Stairlift enables you to go upstairs and downstairs in comfort and safety whenever you like, eliminating the worry of falling, not just for you but also those who care about your welfare.

For more information about how an Acorn Stairlift can help, call free on 0808 223 4871 to speak to one of our friendly stairlift advisors or to book you free no-obligation home survey and quote.

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