Dizziness is a common complaint which brings with it, a variety of sensations. It can occur for a number of reasons. Although dizziness can have a benign cause, such as standing up quickly from a sitting position, it can be a symptom of a serious disorder, such as a stroke. In order to determine the cause, it is important to note the onset of dizziness, the particular sensation experienced, any symptoms and the duration or recurrence of the episode.

Types Of Dizziness

There are different types of dizziness. Dizziness can result from disorders in many different parts of the body, its cause is partially traced by specific symptoms.


The sensation of spinning known as vertigo may result from the following:

  • Change of position
  • Inner-ear inflammation
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular migraine
  • Acoustic neuroma

Vertigo is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, and problems with balance.

Feeling Faint

Feeling faint (lightheaded) can be accompanied by nausea, paleness and clamminess. Most often, it is caused by either a drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension), or inadequate blood output from the heart as a result of cardiomyopathy or arrhythmia.


Disequilibrium, the sense of being off balance, may cause an unsteady gait, and the feeling of being about to fall. It can be caused by the following:

  • Inner-ear problems
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Muscle weakness or osteoarthritis
  • Neurological conditions
  • Side effects of sedatives or tranquilizers

Disequilibrium may be exacerbated by darkness.

Floating, Swimming or Spaciness

More-vague sensations of dizziness include a feeling of floating or swimming, or a sense of being disconnected or “spaced out.” Assuming other causes have been ruled out, these sensations may be caused by the following:

  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Anemia
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Dehydration or being overheated

Depending on the patient’s symptoms and a complete examination, your healthcare provider is usually able to trace and treat dizziness’s cause, whether it is benign or serious.

This article is intended to inform and give insight but not treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a doctor. Always seek medical advice with any questions regarding a medical condition.