ZocdocAnswersWhat causes dizzy spells?

Question

What causes dizzy spells?

I have a tendency - moreso than anyone I know - to get dizzy spells when I'm down with a cold or flu, which can be really incapacitating. Why does this happen to me? Does it have something to do with the way I'm built, or am I just more sensitive to this certain type of problem than most people?

Answer

Where dizziness comes from and how to treat it is a question for many patients. Your primary care doctor is well qualified to discuss this issue with you. The good news is that, if the dizzy spells that you get are only occurring with colds or flu infections, there is unlikely to be anything serious the matter! The most common cause of dizziness in people who have a viral infection is dehydration! The solution is to have plenty of rest and to make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Another possibility would be vestibulitis or labrynthitis, which are inflammations of the inner ear which are commonly caused by the same viruses that can cause colds. As the cold gets better, the dizzy symptoms will also. Sometimes a doctor might prescribe an anti-dizzy medication for these episodes. Finally, eustachian tube dysfunction is common with colds. This is a tube that drains liquid from your ear and when plugged up by the cold, can cause fullness and pain in ear, sometimes with dizziness. As always the diagnosis and the management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Setting up an office visit with your primary care doctor is advised.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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