Feeling lightheaded can be a scary feeling as if you're riding a roller coaster. Lightheadedness doesn’t give warning signals, but comes suddenly for no obvious reason and then goes away as quickly as it appears. Sometimes it’s a chronic or long-lasting problem. Although feeling dizzy or lightheaded isn’t a disease or illness, it be a sign something is wrong. Rather than just ignore it or depend on a home cure, it’s important to determine the root cause.
Lightheadedness, a condition occurring when not enough blood reaches the brain, is feeling as if you’re about to pass out or faint. This type of dizziness, however, isn’t as severe as actual fainting. Unlike fainting, you usually don’t feel like your surroundings are moving. Usually lightheadedness subsides if you lie down. Feelings of nausea can also accompany lightheadedness.
Drop in Blood Pressure
A condition known as “postural hypotension” or a drop in blood pressure can cause lightheadedness. When you’re standing, your heart pumps more blood than usual to the brain to make up for the blood accumulating in the legs. When this process isn’t working, posture changes such as standing up quickly or bending over can result in lightheadedness or dizziness. Blurred vision and even fainting can result in more serious cases.
Whenever a spinning feeling accompanies lightheadedness, there’s a possibility you could have an inner ear problem known as vertigo. Usually seen in older people, vertigo involves the inner ear, which creates balance in the body. Vertigo can be treated with medications that reduce the blood volume in the body, which lowers blood pressure. Check for any other reasons bringing on dizziness such as standing after eating a large meal, failing to not drink enough water or when awakening in the morning.
Although the location of bleeding is usually apparent, sometimes it’s hidden such as in the case of digestive tract bleeding where bleeding, although in small amounts, has been going on for as long as days or weeks unnoticed. Fatigue and lightheadedness can be noticeable symptoms of losing blood. Blood lost from heavy menstrual flow can also cause lightheadnesses.
Lightheadedness can accompany illnesses such as the common cold, the flu or allergies. It can also be caused from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). More severe conditions leading to lightheadedness may include heart problem such as heart attacks' abnormal heart rhythms. Strokes and extreme blood pressure drops (shock) can also cause lightheadedness. When experiencing any of these severe disorders, there are generally other symptoms such as a racing heart, speech loss, chest pains and vision changes.
When feeling lightheaded, don’t get up suddenly or bend over quickly. Support hose or stockings can help with blood flowing back to the brain. Drink at least eight glasses of water and other fluids. Avoid alcohol as this hinders balance.