Dizziness can be a common experience, especially among those aged 40+ It’s also one of the most common reasons for pensioners to visit the doctor. Although it may seem like a minor symptom it’s important to take it seriously, not just because it could be a sign that something else is wrong but also because dizziness is one of the most frequent causes of trips and falls. What can you do to help yourself where reducing dizziness is concerned?
- Sit or lie down. If you’re standing when you feel the most dizzy you may be able to relieve the symptoms by sitting or lying down, as this will drive blood flow to the brain. If you have benign paroxysmal positional vertigo then you will feel like the room is spinning when you are horizontal so you may need to sit instead or not lie flat. Whatever position you’re in, get up gradually and sit for a couple of minutes before fully standing up.
- Create the conditions for better sleep. If you’re not sleeping well then this could be a direct cause of dizziness during the day. Start focusing on creating the conditions for better sleep, such as ensuring your bedroom is quiet and dark, avoiding alcohol and steering clear of devices and screens for an hour before bed.
- Hydrate. Dehydration is a common cause of dizziness and you can experience this throughout the year. As well as heat, reduced kidney function, ailments and some medications can also make you more dehydrated and likely to feel dizzy so make hydration a priority.
- Get a test for anaemia. If you are iron deficient you could feel dizzy alongside experiencing fatigue, heart palpitations, headaches and shortage of breath. Your doctor can do a simple blood test to determine if that’s what’s happening.
- Be calm. It’s sometimes easier said than done but staying calm can also help you avoid dizziness that is being caused by stress. If your breathing is fast and shallow because you’re not calm then this can make you dizzy or make existing dizziness worse. Meditation is a great way to teach yourself to be calmer, as well as talking therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy that looks at the causes of your reactions and whether other options are available.
- Eat some bananas. If low blood glucose is causing your dizziness then eating something like a banana can help to restore you to normal levels. A piece of toast, a few biscuits or a glass of fruit juice will also work just as well. If you find that you’re regularly experiencing this then speak to your doctor, as this can be a sign of diabetes.
- Review any meds you’re taking. Dizziness may be a side effect of some medications so it’s worth looking through the information that comes with anything you’re taking to see if that’s the case. If so, speak to your doctor about whether there might be an alternative available that won’t cause the same symptoms.
For most people dizziness isn’t serious and can be easily dealt with at home. However, if you’re also experiencing numbness, problems speaking, deafness, chest pain or severe headaches then it may be time to seek help.