Feeling lightheaded or dizzy occasionally is not uncommon and usually isn’t serious. If, however, these spells are becoming more frequent, severe, sudden, or prolonged, it may warrant further investigation and testing by a doctor. The issue may be due to an underlying medical problem, such as poor circulation or a heart condition.
Feeling lightheaded or experiencing other sensations associated with dizziness – such as feeling faint, unsteady, off-balance, floating, or a spinning sensation – can be caused by a number of different factors. Lightheadedness may be triggered or made worse by standing up, moving the head, or walking, and it can vary in severity from a mild sensation to vomiting or the need to lie down.
Let’s talk about some of the indicators that may prompt you to see a physician for cardiac testing, and where you can go for an efficient health evaluation and possible treatment.
What Causes Lightheadedness?
Lightheadedness may be accompanied by other symptoms which can help your doctor to identify the cause. Some of the possible causes can include:
- Side effect of medication
- Inner ear infection
- Motion sickness
- Dehydration or heat exhaustion
- Stress or anxiety
- Low blood sugar
- Iron deficiency (anemia)
It can also result from an underlying health condition such as poor circulation, infection, neurological condition, an injury, or it may emerge for no obvious reason.
Inadequate Blood Flow to the Brain and Heart
Lightheadedness can also occur when the heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the brain. This can be caused by a drop in blood pressure, which usually results in brief lightheadedness or a faint feeling when standing or sitting up too quickly – a condition referred to as orthostatic hypotension.
Lightheadedness can also be caused by poor circulation from conditions such as:
- Cardiomyopathy (disease of the heart muscle)
- Heart attack
- Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart rhythms)
- Transient ischemic attack (TIA, or mini-stroke)
Decreased blood volume can also cause an inadequate blood flow to the brain or inner ear, and the ear is where your sense of balance originates.
If you experience severe dizziness accompanied by any of the following symptoms, it may indicate a serious, life-threatening condition:
- Chest pain
- Sudden severe headache
- Breathing difficulties
- Double vision
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Confusion or slurred speech
- Numbness or weakness in the face or body
Diagnostic Testing of Heart Conditions
When lightheadedness occurs on a regular basis for no obvious reason, it is in your best interest to visit your doctor for further investigation. It may be a symptom of another underlying health condition that needs treatment.
Cardiac testing may be necessary if your doctor suspects that a heart condition or circulation problem is the cause of your symptoms. Simple blood tests can also rule out conditions such as iron deficiency (anemia) and diabetes.
Cardiac Testing in the Midlands of South Carolina
If you are experiencing frequent lightheadedness, come and have a medical evaluation by one of our skilled and trusted physicians here at SC Internal Medicine Associates & Rehabilitation. We focus on comprehensive internal medicine, offering everything from checkups to diagnostic scans to weight loss.
We offer on-site medical services to safeguard your health including cardiology, sleep medicine, gastroenterology, physical therapy, podiatry, and an outpatient surgery center. We are also a state-of-the-art accredited facility for a wide range of noninvasive cardiac and vascular testing.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, contact us today at (803) 749-1111, or you can use our secure online appointment request form. We look forward to being your healthcare partner!