Suddenly Feeling Lightheaded Here Are Likely Reasons Why
Most everyone has had the experience of feeling lightheaded on occasion. Sometimes it registers as just a passing moment of dizziness. Other times it can feel as if you’re about to pass out. But what is really behind that sudden weightless feeling? Why does it occur in the first place?
Video of the Day
What Are The Differences Between Dizziness And Lightheadedness
Dizziness is a condition in which one’s equilibrium is upset. This can occur when an individual is unable to catch their balance, as is often the case when someone consumes excessive amounts of alcohol or feel the room may be spinning around them. If it is an inner ear canal problem, this may lead to a diagnosis of vertigo. Lightheadedness is more so a feeling of confusion or inability to focus on a particular item and often described as near-fainting. Vision may change, one may feel weak in the knees, and, generally, the room will not be spinning. Many people use the terms dizziness and lightheadiness interchangeably and why it is important to be more descriptive when discussing with your healthcare provider.
The Inner Ear And Balance
Inside the inner ear is a series of canals filled with fluid. These canals are oriented at different angles and, as the head moves, the movement of the fluid inside these canals tells the brain how far, how fast and in what direction the head is moving.This information is then used by the brain to move the eyes an equal and opposite amount, so that the image that is seen by the eyes does not blur and remains clear.
Recommended Reading: Schizophrenia Prodromal Phase
Why Does Anxiety Cause Lightheadedness
Anxiety can cause lightheadedness through a variety of mechanisms, most notably though severe hyperventilation which lowers the carbon dioxide in the blood, which can cause tingling in the fingertips and mild lightheadedness. Additionally, a fear response can cause a vasovagal reaction which can lead to lightheadedness and even fainting by both slowing the heart rate and vasodilation.
Is Dizziness From Anxiety Dangerous
As a symptom, no, dizziness from anxiety isnt dangerous. However, you might want to be extra cautious when doing certain activities, such as driving, operating heavy machinery, getting up from a lying or sitting position too quickly, or while using the stairs.
You might also want to avoid turning your head too quickly or being in environments with a lot of motion, such as crowds or where there is heavy traffic.
So again, while anxiety dizziness itself isnt dangerous, feeling dizzy, lightheaded, and off balance can cause problems when doing certain activities.
Read Also: Pristique For Depression
Working On Your Sleeping Habits
The quality of your sleep can heavily contribute to the onset of cardiovascular problems like hypertension. The lesser hours you sleep at night, the higher your blood pressure can get. Lack of sleep can also make your dizzying spells worse. As a result, you should aim to work on your sleep hygiene. Try to get at least eight hours of restorative sleep.
Effects Of Panic Attacks
A panic attack is the result of intense anxiety and fear when theres no discernable outward cause. Panic attacks come on fast, and they can trigger intense emotional and physical reactions.
Panic attacks can be scary, causing uncomfortable and frightening feelings and symptoms. They often make you feel like youre totally out of control. They can be so bad that you begin to believe your anxiety symptoms are indicative of a very serious health condition. This can ultimately lead to the feeling that youre dying or that youre experiencing a heart attack.
Sometimes, people experience one or two panic attacks and then the issue seems to resolve and they never have another. Others have panic disorders marked by repeated panic attacks. One of the toughest things about panic attacks is that they can come out of the blue. They can be hard to predict, and most people cant tell when an attack will happen. As a result of the unpredictability and the likelihood of recurrence, many people live in constant fear of an attack.
It can help to keep in mind that panic attacks are not life-threatening. They can be frightening and theyre challenging to deal with, but effective treatment is available in many cases.
Also Check: Can You Go To Urgent Care For Panic Attacks
Comparisons With Other Studies
The main characteristics of our patient population were comparable with those published in other relevant studies. For example, previous studies reported that the most common age of onset for BPPV is around 50 , and the number of women affected was 1.5-fold more than that of men . In our study, the mean age of patients was 53.90 ± 13.93 and the ratio of females to males was 1.76 . This gender discrepancy may be due to menopause-related hormonal fluctuations: a large retrospective study suggested that low estrogen levels might account for the high prevalence of BPPV in perimenopausal and older women . Another study posited that estrogen deficiency might influence calcium metabolism, thus resulting in degeneration of otoconia . These mechanisms may also partly address why female BPPV patients are less likely to be cured on first attempt of the repositioning maneuver, thus requiring more treatment visits.
We also observed a difference in laterality in our study, with the right labyrinth more predominantly affected . Similar results have been published in a meta-analysis conducted by von Brevern et al. . The PSC served as the most frequently involved semicircular canal in our study group , and those with ASC or LSC involvement received more treatments visits, consistent with previous findings .
Also Check: Depression Making It Hard To Work
Can Anxiety Cause High Blood Pressure
No, but it can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure.
High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition in which your blood pressure is chronically higher than it should be. This places extra force on the walls of your blood vessels and, over time, can lead to several health conditions, including:
- Heart attack
- Metabolic disease
General anxiety can cause a temporary, significant increase in your blood pressure, but the effects typically don’t linger long enough to have a lasting impact on your health or cause long-term high blood pressure.
However, if you regularly experience blood pressure spikes due to chronic anxiety issues, your blood vessels can be affected in ways similar to high blood pressure.
Read Also: Why Is Liam Afraid Of Spoons
Unsteadiness Feel Unsteady Anxiety Symptom Description:
- You feel suddenly unsteady, light-headed, woozy or dizzy.
- This unsteadiness symptom is sometimes accompanied by a feeling that you might faint or pass out.
- This unsteadiness symptom also may feel as though you are walking on a boat, or that the floor seems to move up and down and it’s hard to balance.
- You may also have difficulty placing your feet on the ground or floor because you are unsure of your body’s strength.
- It might also seem that even though you are standing on a firm surface, it may seem as if it is vibrating or moving.
- The unsteadiness symptom might also seem as if you are unsure or your balance, feel wobbly, or that you might fall over.
- The unsteadiness symptom may seem like your balance is off or that you are feeling off balance a lot.
- Unsteadiness also might feel like your body is shaking, trembling, vibrating or feels out of balance.
This unsteadiness symptom can persistently affect one area of the body only, can shift and affect another area or areas, and can migrate all over and affect many areas over and over again.
This unsteadiness symptom can come and go rarely, occur frequently, or persist indefinitely. For example, you might feel an unsteadiness once in a while and not that often, feel it off and on, or feel it all the time.
This unsteadiness symptom may precede, accompany, or follow an escalation of other anxiety sensations and symptoms, or occur by itself.
This unsteadiness symptom can change from day to day, and/or from moment to moment.
Stanford Study Finds Stronger One
Signals from the brains fear center make it more difficult for anxious and stressed children to regulate their emotions, a first-of-its-kind brain scanning study from Stanford shows.
In chronically stressed or anxious children, the brains fear center sends signals to the decision-making part of the brain that make it harder to regulate negative emotions, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine.
The findings, which was published April 21 in Biological Psychiatry, come from the first study to use brain scans to examine how emotion-regulation circuits are changed by anxiety and chronic stress in children. The children studied were 10 or 11 years old, a developmental stage when vulnerability to mood-regulation disorders, such as anxiety and depression, becomes entrenched.
The study used functional magnetic resonance imaging to examine the nature of the signals between two parts of the brain: the amygdalae, almond-shaped nerve clusters on the right and left sides of the brain that function as its fear centers and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a brain region involved in executive functions such as decision making and emotion regulation.
Carrion is the director of the Stanford Early Life Stress and Pediatric Anxiety Program, and is the John A. Turner, MD, Endowed Professor for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Lead authorship of the paper is shared by researcher Stacie Warren, PhD, and postdoctoral scholar Yuan Zhang, PhD.
Recommended Reading: Phobia Definition Psychology
Increase In Heart Rate And Respiration
Another part of the stress response changes include increasing heart rate and respiration so the body can effectively shunt blood around to the various parts necessary for survival and immediate action.
This increase in respiration and heart rate can also make a person feel dizzy, lightheaded, woozy, and faint. Again, many people experience these sensations when a stress response has been activated.
An Active Stress Response
Behaving in an apprehensive manner activates the stress response. The stress response secretes stress hormones into the bloodstream where they bring about specific physiological, psychological, and emotional changes that enhance the bodys ability to deal with a threat – to either fight with or flee from it – which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.
A part of the stress response changes include shunting blood to parts of the body vital for survival, such as the brain, and away from those that arent, such as the digestive system. To bring about this shunting action, heart rate and respiration are increased. These blood flow changes alone can cause a person to feel dizzy, lightheaded, off balance, and like you might pass out.
Also Check: Which Is Worse Bipolar Or Bpd
About Dizzy While Driving In Cedar Park
Every year, millions of new drivers enter the road with their new license in hand. Few drivers, however, are unprepared for sudden rushes of dizziness or anxiety while driving. What causes dizziness when driving still eludes some of todays experts in medicine.
Our practice has successfully treated numerous patients with vertigo by addressing a visual problem called Binocular Vision Dysfunction. Our first step in treatment is to isolate what type of dizziness or vertigo a patient is experiencing.
There Are Several Less Common Causes Of Dizziness And Vertigo
Pay attention to all bouts of dizziness, because along with other symptoms, they could point to something more serious. See your doctor to rule out health problems related to frequent or severe bouts of dizziness or vertigo.
Even though less than 1 percent of my patients have a life-threatening or previously unsuspected cause of dizziness such as stroke warning symptoms or a brain tumor I still take all cases of dizziness seriously, says Whitman. If you have a brain tumor, it’s usually not the only symptom you have, he says.
One very rare condition linked to vertigo is Ménières disease. If you have prolonged episodes of whirling vertigo along with hearing problems in one ear, it could be Ménières, says Whitman. He estimates that this affects only about 0.2 percent of the population, and is sometimes found in adults between the ages of 40 and 60. Though it cant be cured, it can be treated.
Also Check: Fear Of Large Words
Heart Attack And Stroke
At its most serious, lightheadedness may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke. Other symptoms of a heart attack often accompanying lightheadedness are chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, arm pain, back pain, or jaw pain. Symptoms suggesting a stroke are the sudden onset of headache, numbness, weakness, visual changes, trouble walking, or slurred speech. “But in older adults, lightheadedness may be the only symptom of a heart attack or a stroke, especially if it doesn’t go away,” says Dr. Grossman. In that case, every second counts, so get to an emergency room for treatment.
Strengths And Limitations Of The Study
As discussed previously, psychiatric factors may affect both the onset and the recovery of BPPV. Few studies have examined psychiatric symptoms as factors that may affect treatment outcomes of BPPV and as precursors of its recurrence. Staab et al. reported a single case of a 41-year-old woman with several combined neurotologic diseases as well as health anxiety, and suggested that psychological factors could have adversely affected her treatment outcomes . Results from our study support this assessment. The clinical characteristics of our patient population are also fully comparable to other studies. Collectively, results from the previous reports mentioned above along with our representative patient demographics strongly reinforce the dependability of our study.
Read Also: How To Treat Someone With Anxiety
You May Like: Define:phobia
When To Talk With A Professional
If you have been experiencing dizziness that does not go away or has begun to interfere with your ability to function, talk with a medical professional. In most cases, testing will reveal the underlying reason behind these episodes, and treatment can help reduce or even stop the symptoms.
Sometimes, there is no visible cause for frequent dizziness. This may indicate an underlying condition such as anxiety. If this is the case, you may be referred to a therapist or other mental health professional for treatment.
Hypertension And Dizziness And What You Can Do
As someone with hypertension, you might be familiar with the debilitating symptoms like dizzying spells. You likely experience it whenever your blood pressure levels fluctuate. While its generally harmless, it can increase your risk for accidents or injuries. Learning how to stop dizziness naturallymight come in extra handy in preventing hazards and ensuring your safety while moving around.
Also Check: Effects Of Phobia
Preventing The Dizziness From Returning
Keep in mind that dizziness can be both the result of anxiety and also its cause. If your primary care physician has ruled out other medical causes that could start dizziness, the next thing to consider would be controlling your anxiety. Because until your anxiety is resolved, the symptoms will continue to return.
First, make sure that you are practicing your breathing techniques. Work on retraining your body to breathe deeper and slower to lessen hyperventilation episodes. When you suffer from certain types of anxiety conditions, you can hyperventilate spontaneously without any triggers.
Next, make sure that you are eating healthy, drinking water, exercising, etc. Once again, anxiety can cause dizziness that can induce more anxiety, in one vicious circle. To prevent both anxiety and dizziness, you should maintain your health to the best of your ability.
Finally, create an anti-anxiety routine. There are various ways to control anxiety symptoms. You will need to start by finding out what type of specific anxiety you are suffering from, and then you can pinpoint certain anxiety management options that will lessen your symptoms.
Dizziness with anxiety when health issues have been ruled out is typically related to breathing, a rush of adrenaline, or a reaction to the perception of mild natural dizziness. It typically needs to be waited out, but altering breathing habits and simple tasks like drinking water can help.
Was this article helpful?
How To Get Rid Of Dizziness Fast
Several remedies and treatments can help reduce dizziness symptoms. For example, regular intake of some nutrients like iron, vitamin D, C, and E can help improve blood vessels elasticity while reducing dizziness.
Ginger is another quick solution for dizziness and motion sickness. You can take it through supplements, ground or fresh ginger, or brew ginger tea. Nonetheless, please consult with an expert before taking any supplements because they can interfere with other medications.
Other options include lifestyle practices such as acupuncture, Epley maneuver, physical therapy, and regular exercise. Mainly, medics recommend concurrent treatment of both conditions. Altogether, you can achieve better results with water pills, anticholinergics, and antihistamines.
Sometimes chronic or acute dizziness can go away without medication. Usually, a human body adjusts naturally to whatever triggers your dizziness after some weeks. For proper diagnoses of anxiety, a qualified mental expert should perform an intensive psychological evaluation.
Additionally, they may request patients to describe their feelings, behavior, and thoughts. That way, it becomes easier to discern any underlying problems leading to eventual solutions.
Looking for medicinal anxiety treatment? Click the button below to book your appointment.
You May Like: Prodromal Symptoms Of Schizophrenia Are Evident:
Sudden Drop In Blood Pressure
The autonomic nervous system helps the body regulate the shift in blood pressure when we stand up. As we get older, this system may deteriorate, causing a temporary drop in blood pressure when we standknown as orthostatic hypotensionresulting in lightheadedness. This may be a long-term problem, but there are medications to treat it, such as midodrine and fludrocortisone , so this too warrants a trip to your doctor.
Anxiety In The Elderly Can Be A Vestibular Problem
Anxiety and vestibular disorders appear to be intimately related. Anxiety can be a symptom of underlying health problems, such as dizziness, and vice versa. Both sets of symptoms can deprive patients of social interactions, social encounters, and participation in daily activities.
Psychological disorders, such as anxiety and depression, on one hand, and vestibular disorders, such as dizziness or vertigo, on the other, are fairly common complaints among elderly people, and both have a long list of possible underlying causes. Anxiety and dizziness are non-specific complaints. Individuals with anxiety may have impaired sleep patterns, nightmares/bad dreams, increased motor tension, irritability, restlessness, uneasiness, and thoughts, such as fear of dying, whereas dizziness may cause lightheadedness, unsteadiness, feeling faint, or visual disturbances.
Dizziness and anxiety are common complaints, but at the same time may reflect health problems, such as cardiovascular disorders, hyperventilation, orthostatic hypotension, orthostasis, and drug side effects. Thus, establishing a valid or differential diagnosis is indispensible in view of the range of possible causes and to allow effective management.
Don’t Miss: Blurred Vision Panic Attack