4 Reasons for Feeling Dizzy: Is It Old Age, or Medication?
You probably don’t think about the reasons for feeling dizzy if it only happens occasionally.
After all, everyone experiences it, no matter how old you are. But frequent dizziness is another matter to be taken seriously.
And the older you get, the more concerning dizziness can be – and the more questions it can raise.
You don’t know if the reason for feeling dizzy is simply an inner ear issue, or something more serious.
Luckily, there’s a completely benign, non-health related reason you may feel dizzy. Your medications.
Before we get into that, let’s look at what we’re talking about when we mention “dizziness” –
It’s All “Dizziness” But It Can Mean 4 Different Things
It’s easier for you and your doctor to figure out your reasons for feeling dizzy if you’re on the same page.
There are 4 different kinds of dizziness, so it’s helpful for you to know which one he’s talking about.
Vertigo is feeling like the room is moving or tilting even though it’s not.
Lightheadedness is feeling like you’re going to faint or pass out.
Disequilibrium is a fancy word for loss of balance, or feeling unsteady when you walk around.
Nonspecific dizziness is harder to describe to a doctor but can be a feeling of floating, swimming, or heavy-headedness.
The truth though is that however you describe it, dizziness is not a condition itself, but is caused by something else.
So About Those Medications…
Dizziness is often a symptom or side effect of taking medications. Even common ones.
Antianxiety Medications. These medications work by slowing down the chemicals in the brain that have become unbalanced and are causing depression or anxiety. Unfortunately, when the chemicals slow down, everything slows down, and that can cause dizziness.
Antibiotics. You expect to be dizzy if you’re taking antibiotics for an ear infection, but that’s not the only time you can feel lightheaded. Taking some of the most common antibiotics can be the reason for feeling dizzy, regardless of why you’re taking them.
Blood Pressure Medications. The whole point of these medications is to help lower your blood pressure. But if your medications are out of balance, your blood pressure can drop too low, which is another reason for feeling dizzy. So when your medications drop your blood pressure too low, you end up as out of balance as they are.
Sleeping Pills. As with antianxiety medications, sleeping pills affect the chemicals in your brain, slowing everything down and often making people dizzy before they fall asleep. And this doesn’t just apply to prescription sleeping pills. Over the counter sleeping pills can be just as unsteadying.
What If You’re Not Taking Any of Those Medications?
Medications are only one reason for feeling dizzy. There are several others – at least 84 other reasons, according to some sources. The good news is that, as uncomfortable as it is, dizziness is common and usually not a serious medical emergency.
So, make sure you’ve gotten enough water – dehydration can be a reason for feeling dizzy – and enough sleep, because being overly tired can make you unsteady.
And yes, if you’ve started feeling dizzy on a regular basis, call your doctor, but don’t worry too much until you’ve talked to him about some unexpected reasons for feeling dizzy – your medications.