Dizziness can strike anyone at any age. In many cases it is a brief event with no short- or long-term consequences, but as we age or if we are suffering from other health issues, a wave of dizziness could lead to a trip or fall accident and that could be dangerous. When you consider that for individuals over the age of 65 the number one reason for an emergency room visit is because of a trip or fall, you can see how crucial it is to pay attention to your body and to any issues relating to dizziness.
Dizziness is a complaint more often voiced by the elderly and is not a symptom that should be ignored. In some cases it is an easy health fix, in others it could mean your doctor will be performing tests to determine the cause; whatever the reason though it should prompt a call to your physician. You may find that it could simply be a side effect of a combination of medications.
Here are some common reasons for dizziness:
- Getting dehydrated or being too hot. If you’ve been in the sun for too long or in a home that is too warm for comfort it can lead to dehydration and to dizziness. Keep the room temperate, stay out of direct sunlight and heat and drink water.
- Vertigo is a more common condition as we age and could be caused by a symptom called positional dizziness. This means going from a lying or a sitting position to sitting or standing can lead to the dizziness. Your doctor may prescribe “positioning” techniques or anti-nausea medications.
- A stroke or a mini-stroke can lead to dizziness. The symptoms of a stroke include weakness on one side of your body and/or dizziness and is a cause for a 9-1-1 call immediately. This would also be a reason to have a home medical alert device; if you are wearing a medical alert pendant and suffer a stroke, at the push of a button you can summon help and in the case of a stroke, the more quickly you receive care the better your chance of recovery.
- Medications are a common culprit of dizziness. If you take the time to read the warning labels you’ll notice that a side effect of many of them is “dizziness” and if you’re taking several that can lead to that side effect you may be more at risk.
- Anemia, an ear infection, high or low blood pressure or low blood sugar can also cause of dizziness.
While you can’t diagnose any of these on your own dizziness sometimes signals a reason to call to your physician. Generally, dizziness is not a reason to call 9-1-1 but if you suffer any of the following combined with the dizziness, then a call to 9-1-1 is likely warranted, or you can push your medical alert button to get assistance.
- Chest pain
- Extreme headache
- Black out
- Memory Loss
- Issues with vision or speech
- Loss of hearing that comes on suddenly
Listen to the signals that your body is sending and pay them heed. If you’re a caregiver and you notice your aging loved ones having any balance issues or if they complain of dizziness and other medical concerns, urge them to invest in a home medical alert system, it will bring peace of mind for your entire family.
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