Dizziness can have many causes which can often be related to inner ear function. Dizziness can mean many different things: a light-headed sensation, a dissociated/floating sensation, imbalance, falling or the sensation of spinning. It is important to fully characterize what you are feeling to aid in determining the cause.
- Light-headedness: the feeling you may get when standing up too quickly or before passing out. Also called a presyncopal sensation. Common causes are blood pressure abnormalities, certain medications, neurologic conditions or poor cardiovascular health.
- Imbalance (disequilibrium): Impaired ability to maintain balance. Characterized by bumping into objects, stumbling, drifting off to one side when walking or frequent falling. Common causes are visual problems, inner ear disease, peripheral neuropathy (often in diabetic patients) or back/neck problems.
- Vertigo: The false sensation of movement when there is none. Often a spinning sensation like coming off a carnival ride, but can also feel like a swaying or shifting sensation with certain head movements. Common causes are inner disorders like Benign positional vertigo or Meniere’s disease.