Why do I feel dizzy?

Millions of individuals have disorders of balance they describe as “dizziness.” Experts believe that more than four out of ten Americans will experience an episode of dizziness significant enough to send them to a doctor. 

What can be difficult for both a patient and his or her doctor is that the word “dizziness” is a subjective term. This means that the word can be used by people to describe different sensations they are experiencing, but it is hard for anyone but the person experiencing the symptoms to understand or measure the nature or severity of the sensations. In addition, people tend to use different terms to describe the same kind of problem. “Dizziness,” “vertigo,” and “disequilibrium” are often used interchangeably, even though they have different meanings.

Lets define the common dizzy terms? 

Common terms often used to describe balance problems are: 

  • Dizziness is a sensation of lightheadedness, faintness, or unsteadiness. 
  • Vertigo is the perception of rotational movement or whirling - either of the self or surrounding objects. 
  • Disequilibrium is the loss of equilibrium. It can be experienced as a sensation of spatial disorientation or imbalance. 

Common descriptions for dizzy problems? 

Take your dizzy problems seriously. If you answered YES to any of the common seven terms - seek assistance from a vestibular trained therapist. 

  1. Do I feel as if the room is spinning around me?
  2. Do I feel as if I’m moving when I know I’m sitting or standing still? 
  3. Do I lose my balance and fall? 
  4. Do I feel as if I’m falling?
  5. Do I feel lightheaded or as if I might faint? 
  6. Do I have blurred vision? 
  7. Do I ever feel disoriented, such as losing my sense of time or where I am?


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