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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Dizziness

What is dizziness?

For some people, dizziness is a feeling of unsteadiness or a spinning sensation. Others may experience extreme balance disorders that affect many aspects of their lives. Dizziness may be a fleeting sensation or the prolonged and intense symptom of a wide range of health problems that can affect a person's independence, ability to work, and quality of life. Experts believe that more than 40 percent of Americans will experience dizziness that is serious enough to go to a doctor. Even dizziness that seems minor, if undiagnosed, may be a signal of underlying disorders.

Balance problems are among the most common reasons that older adults seek help from a doctor. Many people are surprised to learn that the source of their imbalance may be in their inner ears. Balance (or vestibular) problems are reported in about 9 percent of the population who are 65 years of age or older. Fall-related injuries such as breaking (or fracturing) a hip are a leading cause of death and disability in older individuals. Many of these hip fractures are related to balance disorders. Although this fact sheet is about adults, children who complain about or describe balance problems should be seen by a doctor.

Balance disorders may also lead to other problems including fatigue, difficulty walking, or disinterest in everyday and leisure activities. If you or your child, parent, friend, or co-worker has a balance problem--take it seriously. Talk to the doctor about what happens when you feel dizzy or lose your balance. Be as careful as possible to describe your experience of dizziness specifically.

Describe your symptoms for your doctor

What should I do?

How can I help my doctor help me?

Where can I get more information?

 
     
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