General Information
Dizziness is described by some individuals as a feeling of faintness and by others as a feeling of rotary motion when no rotary motion is actually occurring. The feeling of rotary motion is also called vertigo. Sometimes a dizzy person feels that he or she is revolving, whereas another sees the environment revolving around him or her. Other associated phenomena, such as light-headedness, may be harder to describe. Many people call this vertigo. Nausea and vomiting may accompany dizziness. This is a common association with motion sickness (sea sickness). Fainting and blackouts also are associated in some patients. Most dizziness reflects some problem with the inner ear, the vestibular apparatus that functions to keep humans balanced and upright. It is also occasionally due to a problem in the brain.

Historical details are of immense help to your physician in the evaluation of dizziness. Keep a few notes. Does the dizziness come on with changes in position? Is it present at rest? In bed? With exercise? While driving or in motion in another vehicle? Is there nausea or vomiting? Are there blackouts or weakness? Is there a position or an activity that relieves the dizziness?

Important Points in Treatment
Dizziness has many possible causes, and for each there is a specific kind of treatment. Careful, accurate diagnosis is essential to establish the cause and to select the appropriate management. Acute attacks of dizziness can be severe enough to be completely incapacitating. Be careful to prevent falls and possible injury. Stairs may be treacherous. Driving is a particular hazard.

Notify Our Office If ...

  • You have dizziness. Causes of dizziness may be as trivial as a ride on a merry-go-round or as serious as a brain tumor. Report to your physician if dizziness occurs without a reasonable explanation.