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What Should I do if I Am Feeling Dizzy?

By Susan Grindstaff
Updated May 17, 2024
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If you are feeling dizzy, there are a number of things you can try. For instance, sitting or lying down will sometimes stop dizziness that may be the result of certain types of vertigo. If neither of those options is possible, sometimes just grabbing hold of something stationary, such as a wall or the back of a chair, may help improve your balance. In addition, some over-the-counter medications are specifically designed to help with dizziness. Dizziness is often a short-term sensation, and most of the time, it is not serious, but persistent problems with balance may signal an underlying health condition and should be treated by a physician.

Sometimes, dizziness occurs quickly and without warning. If this happens and you are unable to lie down, some experts recommend that you find something to focus your eyes on. It does not matter what it is, but on a subconscious level, focusing your eyes on a non-moving object may help you center yourself, which may make you feel more balanced.

Drinking water can sometimes help when you are feeling dizzy. Studies show that dizziness is often caused by dehydration, so drinking a glass of water may make the sensation pass or diminish its severity. Generally, drinking any type of fluid may help, but it is better to avoid drinks that contain alcohol or high amounts of sugar.

Some people find that changes in diet can sometimes help relieve dizziness, as some foods are believed to contribute to conditions that can cause the sensation. Cutting down on salt and caffeine might be a good idea, as well as lowering alcohol consumption. For some people, just a glass of wine may cause dizziness and, if you are one of those people, it may signal that you have a very low tolerance for alcohol.

In some cases, dizziness can be caused by certain types of medications, in particular blood pressure medication and tranquilizers. Some over-the-counter cold medicines can cause people to feel dizzy. If you believe your medicine is causing your dizziness, you should talk to a medical professional about changing to another prescription. Don't stop using the medication without first discussing the issue with a healthcare provider.

Feeling dizzy does not usually signal a serious condition, but if you find that it happens to you frequently, you should probably consult with a medical professional. Common medical conditions that can sometimes cause dizziness include inner ear problems or infections and high blood pressure. Some more serious causes of dizziness include heart valve problems and bleeding in the brain.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon335115 — On May 17, 2013

@saintdafied: Sounds similar to what I am going through. I have a desk job and sometimes my dizzy/faintness gets so bad I have to leave the room to calm down while it passes because it makes me very nervous. I went to the doctor a few years back and they couldn't find anything obvious wrong and said it must be anxiety. I am still trying to figure out if it really is.

By anon311040 — On Dec 28, 2012

I was dizzy for many years and finally I found what was causing it. I went gluten free and it fixed it. This was the case for my older brother as well. Gluten can cause many other symptoms such as bloating, gas, acne, tiredness, etc.

By bluedolphin — On Nov 21, 2012

@ddljohn-- Have you seen a doctor?

I think you should see one right away and get a routine blood test work done. It actually sounds like it might be your blood sugar. You might have hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. These conditions can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar and you can have symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, confusion and nausea.

I have diabetes and I used to have these symptoms before I was diagnosed and started taking medication. It still happens once in a while and I do the same thing you do. I sit down and check my blood sugar. If it's low, I eat something sweet or I take a glucose tablet that I carry with me. It's really hard. Even when the dizziness goes away, I feel so tired for the rest of the day.

Sitting down is the best thing you can do though. Because if you faint, you might hit your head and get badly hurt. So always sit down when you're dizzy.

By fify — On Nov 21, 2012

I get dizzy when I'm in a car or a bus because of an inner ear problem. I'm on medication but is there something I can do while I'm in the car to get rid of the dizziness?

By ddljohn — On Nov 20, 2012

Lately, I've been feeling dizzy and off balance all of the sudden. I get dizzy, my hands shake and I feel like I will faint. I usually sit and eat something and it goes away. What could it be?

By StarJo — On Sep 22, 2012

@orangey03 – It almost sounds like you might have been having a panic attack. I always start feeling dizzy and nauseous before a panic attack arrives.

I suddenly get the sensation that reality isn't real. That's when I become very dizzy, and it's almost as if I'm about to be transported to the true reality.

When this happens, I sit down with my head between my legs and breathe deeply. Having my head down low causes the blood to rush to it, and this decreases the dizzy feeling.

By Perdido — On Sep 21, 2012

I woke up feeling dizzy last week. It was so bad that I couldn't even stay standing up. I literally fell back into bed.

I decided that I needed more sleep. So, I slept another two hours, and when I got up, everything was fine. I think that the dizziness was just my body's way of telling me that it hadn't gotten enough rest yet.

By orangey03 — On Sep 20, 2012

If you are ever driving and you suddenly feel dizzy and off balance, it is best to pull over. I experienced this a couple of times while driving home from work, and I never did know why.

Suddenly, I would feel as if the car were turning sideways. Once, my vision even flipped at an angle for just a second.

I pulled off the road, because I didn't know what was about to happen. I feared that I might pass out, but I always recovered after a few seconds.

By DylanB — On Sep 20, 2012

I began feeling dizzy and light headed a lot after I started taking medication for my high blood pressure. It lowered my pressure, but it reduced it a bit too far.

When I checked it at home, it was 100 over 60. I felt so weak, and I really had no energy for anything.

So, my doctor lowered my dosage. I still needed the medicine, but I just didn't need quite as much of it. Once he reduced the dosage, my blood pressure returned to normal, and I no longer felt dizzy.

By saintdafied — On Jan 21, 2011

I am 29 year old male and I started getting dizzy a few years ago. It started out like two to three times a year I got vertigo and now I am staying dizzy and the Doctors cannot put a finger on why?

I have had my ears checked and everything was fine. They said I have super hearing. My hearing was in the 250 percent range, If I turn my head a back or to the sides I will get more dizzy I have to stay in bed for days before I can stand again.

I am a web designer so I work at home because I cannot work at a job and get dizzy, They are wanting to send me to check my brain. They think it has something to do with my brain. I try to keep on going and I do it, but I do get slowed down a lot with the dizziness.

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