question-icon

What causes persistent dizziness?

default
Posted on Thu, 28 May 2015
Question: I'm dizzy. Have been dizzy all day.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Olsi Taka (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Dizziness can have many causes.

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXX!

I read your question carefully and I am sorry about the persistent dizziness bothering you.

Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms in medicine. Often it can be difficult to diagnose because it can be a manifestation of many different conditions. What patients mean by dizziness can also vary as it can be used for vertigo (spinning sensation), lack of balance, fainting feeling, lightheadedness etc.

One of the most common causes can be ear related ones. As inner ear is important for our coordination its disorders can cause vertigo, nausea usually triggered or exacerbated by a change in head position.
Another possible cause could be a stroke involving the posterior part of your brain which could cause lack of balance and coordination, visual problems. Reading another question of yours you mention stumbling, bumping on doors, being unsteady, which is a typical description of these type of stroke, so I think this possibility should be seriously contemplated, not only because it is a serious condition, but also from that description. Its probability is higher if you have other symptoms like headache, double vision or restriction of vision in a part of your visual field, weakness/numbness in your limbs, difficulty articulating words or swallowing etc.

Medication can also be a common cause like hydrocodone, although you mention on that other question you were dizzy before taking it as well.

Another possibility could be a heart arrhythmia which can cause lightheadedness, fainting feeling, palpitations. Blood pressure variations also can be an issue like orthostatic hypotension, presenting when you change position from supine to standing, so blood pressure should be measured in both positions to check for marked blood pressure drops.

Also conditions like anemia, high blood glucose or other metabolic changes, fever can cause lightheadedness.

Now I understand the list is becoming too long and might start to sound confusing, so I'll stop here. What I want you to understand is that potential causes are many, some more serious some more benign. To differentiate between them a physical exam by a doctor is necessary, even in ER if you can’t see your primary physician today, physical is necessary to check for neurological signs (because a stroke is an issue to be excluded), blood pressure, EKG, routine lab blood tests. According to the findings of the physical exam further tests like brain imaging might be indicated.

I remain at your disposal for further questions.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Olsi Taka

Neurologist

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 3669 Questions

premium_optimized

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
What causes persistent dizziness?

Brief Answer: Dizziness can have many causes. Detailed Answer: Hello XXXX! I read your question carefully and I am sorry about the persistent dizziness bothering you. Dizziness is one of the most common symptoms in medicine. Often it can be difficult to diagnose because it can be a manifestation of many different conditions. What patients mean by dizziness can also vary as it can be used for vertigo (spinning sensation), lack of balance, fainting feeling, lightheadedness etc. One of the most common causes can be ear related ones. As inner ear is important for our coordination its disorders can cause vertigo, nausea usually triggered or exacerbated by a change in head position. Another possible cause could be a stroke involving the posterior part of your brain which could cause lack of balance and coordination, visual problems. Reading another question of yours you mention stumbling, bumping on doors, being unsteady, which is a typical description of these type of stroke, so I think this possibility should be seriously contemplated, not only because it is a serious condition, but also from that description. Its probability is higher if you have other symptoms like headache, double vision or restriction of vision in a part of your visual field, weakness/numbness in your limbs, difficulty articulating words or swallowing etc. Medication can also be a common cause like hydrocodone, although you mention on that other question you were dizzy before taking it as well. Another possibility could be a heart arrhythmia which can cause lightheadedness, fainting feeling, palpitations. Blood pressure variations also can be an issue like orthostatic hypotension, presenting when you change position from supine to standing, so blood pressure should be measured in both positions to check for marked blood pressure drops. Also conditions like anemia, high blood glucose or other metabolic changes, fever can cause lightheadedness. Now I understand the list is becoming too long and might start to sound confusing, so I'll stop here. What I want you to understand is that potential causes are many, some more serious some more benign. To differentiate between them a physical exam by a doctor is necessary, even in ER if you can’t see your primary physician today, physical is necessary to check for neurological signs (because a stroke is an issue to be excluded), blood pressure, EKG, routine lab blood tests. According to the findings of the physical exam further tests like brain imaging might be indicated. I remain at your disposal for further questions.