Although often confused with dizziness, lightheadedness is different from dizziness. While dizziness is described as an unbalanced feeling as if your surroundings are spinning, lightheadedness is the feeling that your body is heavy and your head is not getting enough blood. The symptom of lightheadedness is also often described as feeling woozy or feeling like you might faint.
In most cases, lightheadedness is not caused by major health problems. However, it can be triggered by life-threatening health conditions too. Keep in mind that even when the cause is nothing to worry about, lightheadedness could lead to falls and cause injuries. Experts have therefore suggested not to ignore the symptom, especially if it lasts for over 15 minutes.
As lightheadedness is a common complaint, especially among older adults, in this article, we would like to go through several of its causes. We will cover the most common causes of lightheadedness, from mild ones easily fixable by implementing healthier habits at home to those that require immediate medical help, as follows:
According to an article published by Harvard Health Publishing in 2020, one of the top reasons for lightheadedness is dehydration. If you happen to live in Bali, the odds of suffering from dehydration are higher than in other places around the world where the weather is not as hot and humid. When you are dehydrated, the volume of your blood goes down. This leads to a drop in your blood pressure, causing a reduced blood flow to the brain. The reduced blood flow to your brain causes you to experience lightheadedness.
In cases of mild to moderate dehydration, getting enough fluids can resolve the dehydration, and therefore lightheadedness, in less than a day. However, if you haven’t been getting enough fluids for several days, it is best to consult your doctor as you might need an IV infusion of fluids. This treatment is available at several walk-in clinics in Bali, including Prime Plus Medical in Canggu.
You may be interested to read IV Vitamin Therapy – Bali Belly Treatment – Clinic Near Me
2. Suffering from a cold or flu
While feeling lightheaded might alarm you and even trigger anxiety for those prone to it, simply suffering from a cold or flu can cause this unpleasant sensation. Cold and flu symptoms such as fever, a runny nose, sweating, nausea, or diarrhea can all lead to dehydration which, as mentioned above, causes lightheadedness.
And even when you don’t experience any symptoms that show obvious loss of fluid like those above, a seemingly insignificant rise in your temperature alone will cause your body to need more fluids to function well. Therefore, it’s essential to do your best to stay hydrated during a cold or flu to minimize the chance of suffering from lightheadedness.
3. A sudden fall in your blood pressure
Experts have shared that a sudden drop in blood pressure, or hypotension, causes a decrease in the blood flow to the body, depriving it of the oxygen and nutrients to function normally. And as you might be able to guess at this point, the lack of blood flow to the brain during hypotension causes lightheadedness.
Harvard Health Publishing published an article explaining that temporary drops in blood pressure when standing up, known as orthostatic hypotension, is one of the most common triggers of lightheadedness in older adults. The good news is that there is medication to treat this chronic health problem. If this sounds like your trigger, make sure you consult your GP for a treatment plan as soon as possible.
4. Heart attack and stroke
Following the above mild to moderate conditions that may lead to lightheadedness, heart attack and stroke are the two most serious causes to keep in mind.
The American Heart Association lists lightheadedness as one of the accompanying signs of a heart attack. Furthermore, experts have also shared that lightheadedness may be the only symptom of a heart attack or a stroke in older adults, especially if it is persistent. For such cases of chronic lightheadedness, please seek immediate medical attention.
We hope that this article has helped you recognize the difference between dizziness and lightheadedness as well as its most common causes. Once again, if you experience chronic lightheadedness or symptoms that last for more than 15 minutes, please make sure that you see a doctor immediately. Our English-speaking team of excellent doctors at Prime Plus Medical Canggu is ready to assist you 24/7.