Feeling dizzy or lightheaded can be a disorienting sensation. A number of different conditions can lead to vertigo – most of them not too serious. Allergies often play a role, as well. They can cause swelling in the middle ear, which affects your balance. To be on the safe side, see a doctor for any prolonged or recurring bout of dizziness.

Lightheadedness or Vertigo?

A lot of people use the term “dizziness” to refer to feelings of either lightheadedness or vertigo. In reality, they are two separate conditions. Lightheadedness refers to the feeling that you are going to faint, while vertigo gives you the sensation that your environment is moving around you. Both can cause unsteadiness, headache, chest pain, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and confusion. Lightheadedness is the result of a sudden drop in blood pressure, while vertigo is caused by a disruption in the body’s balance and positioning systems.

Either variety of dizziness can be caused by allergies. Pollens, dust mites, smoke, animal dander, and mold all have the potential of causing an inflammatory reaction in the middle ear, leading to a buildup of fluid that can alter your balance or momentum.

How to Treat Dizziness

If you are experiencing dizziness of any sort, see a doctor in order to rule out anything serious. He or she will give you a physical exam and will ask questions about your symptoms while going over your medical history. To check for sensitivity to certain allergens, you’ll be given either an allergy skin test or a blood test.

If an allergen is determined to be the trigger for your dizziness, the best method of preventing future episodes is avoiding the irritant. Of course, this isn’t always feasible, so you may be prescribed medications to help with the symptoms. Nasal sprays and corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, and pain relievers all bring relief. In addition, you should get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Do not drive a motor vehicle or operate heavy equipment while experiencing bouts of dizziness.

Long-term treatment of dizziness caused by allergies may center on immunotherapy shots or prescription allergy medicine.

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