The 5 Most Common Causes of Dizziness and How to Treat It

The 5 Most Common Causes of Dizziness and How to Treat It

Did you know that Dizziness is one of the most common reasons why a patient visit a doctor?

Feeling dizzy can mean different things for different people. Usually it will be described as any of the following sensations:

1) You feel like the world around you is spinning. This is commonly known as vertigo.

2) Light headed or feeling faintness.

3) Feeling unsteady or like you are going to lose your balance

4) Feeling like you are floating or feeling woozy

Sudden dizziness isn’t a disease but rather a symptom of various conditions. In this blog post we’ll tell you about the 5 most common causes of dizziness and how to treat it.

Why am i dizzy and what causes dizziness?

1.) Poor circulation

This form of dizziness is most often felt after moving from sitting to standing too quickly. As you change positions, you are not getting enough blood flow to your brain which gives you the sensation of dizziness.

Your brain needs a steady flow of oxygen rich blood. If this oxygen requirement is not met, dizziness can occur. If you commonly experience dizziness upon position changes, you may have orthostatic hypotension, which is characterized by low blood pressure. The low blood pressure causes poor blood flow which reduces the amount of oxygen getting to your brain. Other causes of poor blood flow include clogged arteries, blood clots, heart failure, and an irregular heartbeat.

2.) Meniere’s disease

Meniere’s disease is a condition of the ear that can bring on intense periods of vertigo.  People with this condition may also experience hearing loss, ringing in their ears, feeling of pressure in one ear, and even nausea.

There is no known cause of Menier’es disease, but typically it involves a build-up of fluid in the inner ear. There is no cure, but symptoms can be reduced through vestibular rehabilitation. Additionally, some people move to a low salt diet because it can help reduce fluid retention. Meniere’s disease may also be treated with medicine to help manage dizziness.

3.) Vertigo

Most often people confuse vertigo with dizziness but they are two different things.

Dizziness is when you have a distortion of where you are in space, like the feeling of being off balance. Usually it is only temporally. 

Vertigo is the sensation of movement of your surroundings, where the whole world feels like it’s spinning around you. Vertigo attacks can last for minutes, hours, days, and even weeks.

During a vertigo attack you may feel spinning, tipping, and whirling sensations.

4.) Hypoglycemia

Dizziness can be caused by a drop in blood sugar. This normally only causes temporary symptoms.

Common temporary causes:

  • Diabetics who have inconsistent eating patterns or when taking their medications.
  • Drinking too much alcohol.
  • Not drinking enough water or poor diet

5.) Vestibular dysfunction 

This is the most common cause of dizziness. Your vestibular system consists of part of your inner ear which is responsible for detecting head position and motion. It also consists of other parts of our brain that all communicate together to let us know where we are in space.

Vestibular dysfunction comes in many forms :

Inner ear infection – Also known as labyrinthitis is known to cause dizziness, vertigo, and balance problems. Additionally, patients will experience symptoms similar to that of a regular ear infection.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) –  is a mechanical problem of the inner ear. It happens when small calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) become dislodged and migrate into one of the canals of your inner ear. When this happens the inner ear starts to send false signals to your brain about head motion causing vertigo symptoms.

Central vestibular disorder – This is a condition where dysfunction at the brain and spinal cord level causes patients to experience spinning sensations while they are in a resting position.

Concussion or head injury – evidence suggests that 80% of those who experience a concussion report vertigo in the first few days after the injury. If untreated, this symptom can persist and impact quality of life long after a concussion.

How to stop feeling dizzy?

Many times dizziness will go away on it’s own. However, if it persists there are a few things you can do to stop feeling dizzy.

  • Perform positions changes slowly. If you feel dizzy after a position change, take a few deep breaths in through your nose. This will help deliver more oxygen to your brain.
  • Get enough rest because exhaustion can cause dizzy spells.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Limit your intake of coffee and alcohol.

Inner ear issues like we discussed above can be treated successfully with a customized vestibular treatment plan developed by a Physiotherapist. This treatment plan consists of exercises to help your vestibular system integrate your neck and head position more efficiently, thereby reducing vertigo symptoms.

In the case of BPPV, certain maneuvers performed by your physiotherapist can help alleviate the symptoms as well.

Now if your dizziness doesn’t go away or keeps coming back then it may be a good idea to see a Physiotherapist to find the root cause of your symptoms. You can use the search box on this page to find a Physio near you and book an appointment.


This appointment is your opportunity to tell us what hurts and discover whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care is a good fit for you! During this session, you will talk with a physiotherapist or chiropractor on a phone call (or online) and create the right care plan specifically for your pain. There is no obligation on this session is to find out whether physiotherapy or chiropractic care can help you getting back to doing the things you love in life.

Frequently Asked Questions

When most people think of Covid-19 they think of flu-like symptoms, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. But it can also cause dizziness and vertigo.

An April 2020 report examined 214 people who were hospitalized with Covid and found that 16.8% experienced dizziness as a symptom. 


Another study in october 2020 found out of 185 Covid patients 18.4% reported feeling dizziness.


Make sure to assess for common respiratory symptoms like a runny nose or cough when experiencing dizzines

Usually dizziness is not a sign of something serious if it only happens occasionally. However if you experience dizziness for prolonged periods or experience repeat episodes then you should see a doctor as soon as possible. 

It’s best to see a doctor if your dizziness lasts for more than a few days or keeps you from doing normal activities. There are options to relieve dizziness like medication or Physiotherapy.

About Taylor Sipos

Taylor is a physiotherapist at The Orthopaedic Therapy Clinic located in Toronto, Ontario. He treats patients with various musculoskeletal conditions using patient education, exercise therapy, manual therapy and acupuncture. His treatment philosophy involves giving his patient’s the means to self-manage their injuries. He does this through reassurance, education and health promotion. Taylor uses the same principles as a patient educator at Pain Hero. He aims to provide you with high-quality, easy to understand information to teach you about your condition and how to improve it.

Medical Disclaimer:

The information presented in this blog post is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, treatment or a diagnosis, consult with a medical professional such as one suggested on this website. The Clinic Accelerator Inc. and the author of this page are not liable for the associated risks of using or acting upon the information contained in this article.

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