Dizzy Spells - Heart Specialist Dr Nima Rudd
Dizzy spells can be due to a variety of factors – heart rhythm disturbances, low blood pressure, slow heart rate, fast heart rate, dehydration, inner ear problems (vertigo), epilepsy, anxiety, infections, just to name a few.
Determining the cause of dizzy spells can be difficult, and requires very good history taking, thorough clinical examination, and careful selection of tests.
From the heart viewpoint, dizzy spells can be symptomatic of conditions that give rise to inadequate blood supply to the brain, leading to a reflex action resulting in the head being positioned horizontal with the heart (rather than upright, or head above heart level) which is caused fainting( syncope) If you pass out, you will likely become conscious and alert right away, but you may feel confused for a short period of time .
What causes syncope?
Fainting can be caused by many conditions , but most of them would be either brain or heart/blood vessels related.
Many patients have a medical condition they may or may not know about, that affects the nervous system or heart. Or they may have a condition that affects blood flow through the body and causes the blood pressure to drop when on changing positions (for example, going from lying down to standing).
- Fainting ( syncope and dizzy spells can include
- Blacking out
- Feeling lightheaded
- Falling for no reason
- Feeling dizzy
- Feeling drowsy or groggy
- Fainting, especially after eating or exercising
- Feeling unsteady or weak when standing
- Changes in vision, such as seeing spots or blurry vision
Many times, patients feel an episode of syncope coming on ,”warning signs” , such as feeling lightheaded, nauseous, and heart palpitations (irregular heartbeats that feel like “fluttering” in the chest). If you get these warning signs , you will likely be able to keep from fainting if you sit or lie down and put your legs up when you feel these symptoms.
Fainting ( Syncope) can be a sign of a more serious condition. So, it is important to be assessed right away after you have an episode of syncope. Most patients can prevent problems with syncope once they get an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.