Why Am I Dizzy?
- By Dizzy & Vertigo Institute
- May 31, 2020
Suddenly, it’s as if someone just shook up your entire world like a snowglobe. You’ve lost your bearings. You reach for something sturdy. And the moment seems to spin into oblivion. Once life reverts to stability, you’re left wondering: why am I dizzy? Like any singular symptom, there are numerous possible causes. There’s more than one way to get a headache, and there’s more than one way to experience dizziness. In this article, we’ll try our best to address the entire spectrum of imbalance sources. And by the end, give you a direction to take so you’re no longer left wondering “Why Am I Dizzy?”
How We BalanceFirst, you must understand where our balance originates because then you can isolate what is contributing to the problems. For instance, you wouldn’t blame your toenails for your dizziness. Although, I suppose if you didn’t cut them for a very long time it might throw off your steps. Yuck! Anyways, your balance is made up of signals received by the eyes, muscles and joints, and inner ear. When any one of these sources of input is off, your entire balance system will malfunction. Of course, different problems in each area need a different type of medical attention. The following are problems associated with each input center.
Eyes, Muscles, and JointsThe main role that these inputs play is in confirming the body’s orientation for the brain to understand. Basically, they help confirm location awareness and coordination. If what you’re seeing/feeling doesn’t match with what your inner ear and brain believe, the result is dizziness, imbalance, or vertigo. Sources of imbalance:
- Poor eyesight – if you can’t see properly then your body cannot balance properly
- Poor muscle and joint control – if your body can’t feel it’s surroundings how can it support itself
- Nerve damage
- Tai Chi
- Leg strengthening (squats, lunges, one-leg stands, etc.)
The Inner EarYour inner ear’s involvement in balance is arguably the most critical part. It consists of a complicated system of canals filled with fluid. As your head moves, the fluid in the canals moves. And your brain understands your body’s position based on the fluid’s movement. Sources of imbalance:
- BPPV – tiny bits of calcium in part of your inner ear get loose and move to places they don’t belong.
- Infection – A viral infection of the vestibular nerve, called vestibular neuritis, can cause intense, constant vertigo.
- Labyrinthitis – Inflammation of the nerves in your ears.
- Meniere’s Disease – too much fluid in the inner ear.
Brain StemPerhaps the most serious of all would be any sort of damage to the cerebellum, which is the movement control center. The cerebellum receives messages about the body’s position from the inner ear, eyes, muscles and joints, and sends messages to the muscles to make any postural adjustments required to maintain balance. It also coordinates the timing and force of muscle movements initiated by other parts of the brain. The cerebellum is basically the balance coordinator. Sources of imbalance:
- Concussions – residual damage from a concussion can last for years after the fact and throw off the balance coordinator of the body.
- Degeneration – cellular degeneration would affect how the cerebellum performs.
Miscellaneous Sources of ImbalanceThere are a number of other sources of dizziness that include:
- Low blood sugar
- Poor blood circulation
- Stress and anxiety