Sudden dizziness: causes, treatment, and when help is needed

Sudden dizziness can be the result of many problems, including inner ear problems, low blood pressure, and mental health problems. The dizziness may go away on its own, but it is a good idea to seek medical advice.

People who feel dizzy can describe it as feeling light-headed, out of balance, dizzy or fainting.

Below we describe when to seek medical attention, what you can do at home to reduce vertigo, and the range of causes and treatment options.

Several health problems can cause sudden dizziness and vertigo, and some are more serious than others. For this reason, anyone experiencing a sudden onset of either problem should receive medical guidance.

Vertigo is a severe form of vertigo. A person experiencing vertigo feels that he or his environment is spinning.

Sudden dizziness may require urgent medical attention. For example, some problems that can accompany dizziness include signs of a stroke, including changes in vision or speech, numbness or weakness in the face or one or more limbs.

A person should get medical attention if sudden dizziness persists, keeps coming back, or occurs with:

  • hearing loss
  • other changes in hearing, such as ringing in the ears
  • falls and other walking difficulties
  • difficulty speaking
  • chestpain
  • any changes in vision such as blurring
  • numbness in the limbs or face
  • nausea
  • an unusual or severe headache

Also, anyone with dizziness and a severe headache can get a high feveror nausea should get immediate medical attention.

When taking steps to reduce dizziness at home, it is can help to:

  • Lie still in a dark, quiet room.
  • Move the head slowly and gently.
  • Try to relax, for example by using relaxation techniques
  • Use a walking stick to reduce the chance of falling.
  • Sleep with your head slightly up and use two or more pillows.
  • Get out of bed slowly and sit on the ledge before standing up.
  • Turn on the light when you get up at night.

Also, try not to bend over to pick up objects and stretch the neck. Instead of bending, squat to lower the body.

Read more about home remedies for vertigo here.

Inner ear problems can affect the body’s balance, and these problems include: main speech of dizziness and vertigo. Inner ear disorders that can cause sudden dizziness include:

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common condition that causes recurrent episodes of vertigo. They can be caused by changes in the position of the head when the person:

  • turns around in bed
  • stands up straight
  • bends over
  • looks up

BPPV occurs when chalk crystals in the inner ear, which need to be embedded in jelly, fall loosely into the semicircular canals.


A healthcare provider can use the Epley maneuver to treat BPPV.


Labyrinthitis refers to the maze of fluid-filled channels in the inner ear that become inflamed.

In addition to dizziness, it can lead to:

  • nausea
  • hearing loss
  • ringing in the ears, or tinnitus
  • shaky

Labyrinthitis sometimes follows an infection, such as a cold or cold flu


The doctor may prescribe a short course of medicine for motion sickness or an antihistamine.

Vestibular neuritis or neuronitis

This condition occurs when a nerve in the inner ear called the vestibular nerve becomes inflamed, usually as a result of a viral infection.

A person can experience:

  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • shaky

This problem does not affect the person’s hearing.


According to research from 2020vestibular neuritis can last from a few days to several weeks or months.

The doctor can treat the immediate symptoms with a 3-day course of antinausea medication, an antihistamine, or a benzodiazepine.

Meniere’s disease

This progressive condition of the inner ear can cause hearing lossThe underlying cause of Ménière’s disease is still unclear, but the symptoms occur as a result of fluid build-up in an area of ​​the inner ear called the labyrinth.

Possible causes include:

  • viral infections
  • allergies
  • autoimmune reactions

Symptoms include:

  • dizziness
  • tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear


Treatments may include medications, diet changes, and, if possible, a reduction in the level of diabetes voltage and anxiety

Read more about the treatment options here.

Sudden dizziness can result from low blood pressure blood pressure

A person can have postprandial hypotension – when blood pressure drops after a meal. This is prominent in older adults.

Or a person can have orthostatic hypotensionThis means that you feel dizzy after standing up quickly. It occurs as a result of a sudden drop in blood pressure due to the change of position.

Other symptoms of low blood pressure are:

  • faintness
  • headache
  • blurry sight
  • feeling confused
  • weakness
  • nausea

Symptoms may occur or become more prominent in the morning when blood pressure is naturally lower, during exercise, after a large meal, or during periods of significant stress or anxiety.


Doctors sometimes treat low blood pressure with drugs. They can also suggest:

  • stay hydrated
  • avoid strenuous activities during hot weather
  • sleep with the head slightly higher

Dietary changes can also help with low blood pressure – learn more here.

There are many other causes of this problem, including:

  • medication, with dizziness as a side effect
  • Overheating
  • dehydration
  • stress, fear, anger and fear
  • iron deficiency Anemia
  • motion sickness
  • Ear infections
  • migraine
  • low blood sugar, in people with diabetes diabetes
  • cervicogenic dizziness, which is dizziness or vertigo associated with neck pain or problems

Changing the problem medication or treating the underlying health problem will resolve the dizziness in these cases.

Not all episodes of vertigo have a known cause. When a doctor can identify the underlying problem, it can cause further complications.

The main complication of vertigo is shakiness and falling. Anyone who can become dizzy should use a walking stick and get up or change position too quickly.

Sometimes the balance problems resulting from inner ear disorders, such as labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritis, can persist for a long time, even years

Sudden dizziness can be the result of inner ear problems, blood pressure, or mental health, but it can also be the result of a variety of other causes.

Sudden dizziness or giddiness may indicate that a person needs urgent medical attention, especially if it occurs with difficulty walking, speaking, seeing or hearing, numbness or severe headache.

The dizziness may go away on its own, but it is a good idea to seek medical advice, especially if other symptoms are present or the dizziness recurs.

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