When a sudden attack of dizziness happens, it is frightening. Not only for the person experiencing dizziness, but for the people around them too. What can I do to help this person? Although there isn’t an exact First Aid for Dizziness process, there are steps one can take to alleviate symptoms and get the proper help.
Is This Dizziness Attack Serious?
Dizziness is the symptom of nearly everything. Therefore, there are sources of dizziness that are more serious than others. Thus, the first step in First Aid for Dizziness is ensuring that the source of dizziness doesn’t require emergency medical attention.
First, look for (or ask) if the following symptoms are present along with their dizziness:
- Slurred speech
- Double vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Facial numbness or weakness
- Numbness or paralysis of arms or legs
- Stumbling or difficulty walking
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Sudden, severe headache
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Ongoing vomiting
- A sudden change in hearing
First and foremost, First Aid for Dizziness is about ensuring the “worst case scenarios” aren’t happening (stroke, heart attack, etc.).
If the dizzy person has more than one of the above symptoms, then please seek immediate emergency medical attention. These are warning signs of Central Vertigo.
Central Vertigo is a condition caused by irregularities or problems in our Central Nervous System – the brain, spine, and nerves. Clearly, dizziness resulting from these vital areas are cause for concern.
So, let’s say the dizzy person is not experiencing these additional symptoms. Now, what?
General First Aid for Dizziness
After you’ve assessed the situation and there doesn’t appear to be anything life-threatening going on, there are a few things that can relieve dizzy symptoms.
First, get the dizzy person off their feet. They may sit down or lie down, as long as they are resting. And make sure they avoid sudden movements of the body and head.
Second, hydrate and cool the dizzy person. Dehydration and heat exhaustion are among the leading causes of spontaneous dizziness. Get the dizzy patient some fluids and a cool place out of the sun to rest.
Third, calm and relax the dizzy person. If this is their first time having a dizziness episode, then they’re likely frightened. Stress and anxiety won’t help the situation, so calm their nerves and control the situation in order to make them feel safe.
Many dizziness attacks result from changes in our physiological state: blood pressure changes, changes in stress levels, and changes in diet or hydration. Therefore, these simple tactics might help relieve their symptoms for the time being until they can visit a healthcare provider.
Is It A Vestibular Disorder?
Realistically, there isn’t a lot that can be done “in the moment” for dizziness attacks. This is particularly true if the dizziness stems from a vestibular disorder. However, there is ample treatment that can be done following a dizziness episode to prevent future episodes.
Therefore, your best First Aid for Dizziness resource is going to be a Vestibular Audiologist. They specialize in testing the vestibular (balance) system to diagnose irregularities and disorders.
If you have a vestibular disorder, such as BPPV, Vestibular Migraine, or Meniere’s Disease – it’s likely that dizziness episodes will continue happening. Unless you seek treatment of your vestibular system.
Our clinic, the Dizzy & Vertigo Institute, provides world-class vestibular care to dizzy patients. Our state-of-the-art equipment is designed specifically for identifying the source of your balance problems and rehabilitating your vestibular system to operate how it should.
You can schedule an appointment with us here or call us directly at (310) 954-2207.
To recap First Aid for Dizziness:
- Check their symptoms for signs of Central Vertigo (call “911” immediately if these are present).
- Provide General First Aid for Dizziness practices.
- Seek help from a Vestibular Audiologist to prevent future dizziness episodes.