Why do I sometimes feel lightheaded or dizzy when I move my head?
I'm a 44-year-old woman. Lately, I've experienced sudden moments of feeling lightheaded or dizzy, mainly when I turn my head after I haven't been moving. I don't get dizzy enough that I fall down or anything, but it's often enough that it worries me. It happens whether I'm standing or sitting, and it doesn't seem to be related to a drop in blood pressure when standing up. I usually take an iron supplement 7 days a month because in the past I sometimes had some dizzy moments during my period and thought that mild anemia related to menstruation might be the cause, but now it seems to be happening almost every day. I recently started taking 2500mcg of B12 and a B-50 complex to see if that will help. I'm not on any medications, and I don't take birth control. I don't feel any pain or pressure in my ears, but wondering if this might actually an inner-ear problem? Are there other possible causes for feeling this way?
Unfortunately, dizziness is a very common problem that increases in frequency as we age. To most completely diagnose your condition, you will need to see a physician in person. It is important to know if it feels like the world is spinning around you. If so, you would likely be diagnosed with vertigo. There are many causes, but from your question it appears quite possible that you are suffering from the extremely common disorder known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. In this condition, the part of your body (located near/in your ear) that are responsible, in part, for balance don't function correctly. Specifically, the small crystals in your inner ear that usually inform your body which way is up (literally!) are misplaced, and the misplacement causes your body to be in quite an awkward state. People with this condition suffer especially from rapid movements, such as you are describing. It can be readily diagnosed with a series of positional maneuvers done in your doctor's office (Dix-Hallpike), and another series of positions (Epley Maneuver) is often successful at moving these crystals back to a place where they do not cause symptoms (although some people will have recurrent bouts of dizziness). Please see a head and neck surgeon, AKA otolaryngologist (AKA Ear-Nose-Throat doctor) shortly, as they will be able to help you with this condition or direct you towards further medical care if there is another condition currently causing your symptoms.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.
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