DIZZINESS – WHAT COULD IT BE A SYMPTOM OF?

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Dizziness is quite common, also in the elderly. Although most often they are simply the result of fatigue, stress or lack of sleep, it also happens that they are a symptom of diseases that are dangerous to health. Therefore, it is worth being vigilant and consulting a doctor about any disturbing symptoms!

From the text you will learn:

  • what is dizziness from a medical point of view,
  • what are the causes of dizziness,
  • which may mean dizziness in an elderly person.

Dizziness is one of the most common problems faced by elderly people – in the general population it affects 15–23% of people, while in seniors over 70 the frequency of its occurrence is as high as 36%. The direct anatomical cause of vertigo are disturbances in the functioning of the vestibular system (the so-called equilibrium system), which includes labyrinth, vestibular nerve and centers in the brain, cerebellum, cerebral cortex and subcortical nuclei.

Dizziness may take the form of an illusion of movement of the surroundings or one’s own body (sometimes the head itself), or a feeling of instability, imbalance or postural uncertainty. And while the occasional dizziness when standing up after a long-term lying position should not be alarming, a strong dizziness that occurs frequently should be consulted with a doctor.

Dizziness in the elderly? It could be high blood pressure!

Hypertension is a disease very widespread in our country – many seniors are struggling with it. They are recognized when the pressure value exceeds 140/90 mmHg in at least two independent measurements.

Long-term, untreated arterial hypertension increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (stroke, heart attack, ischemic disease), causes damage to internal organs (e.g. kidneys), and may impair eyesight.

Although, especially in the first stages, arterial hypertension may not show any characteristic symptoms, often after making a diagnosis and talking to a doctor, patients realize that some symptoms have appeared. They include, among others sudden dizziness with a feeling of your face swelling as you lean it forward In addition, hypertension can be seen as headaches, increased sweating, increased heartbeat or fainting. Of course, the treatment of vertigo is directly linked to the treatment of hypertension.

Frequent dizziness – or maybe migraine?

Dizziness is a very common symptom of migraine. Most often, they are fairly light, but there are cases where they last for several hours, along with visual disturbances, problems with balance, and even loss of consciousness. This type of migraine can affect people of both genders and ages, although it was initially thought to affect only young girls.

How to deal with this ailment? Painkillers (acetylsalicylic acid, ibuprofen, diclofenac) are used here. Breathing and relaxation exercises are helpful, sometimes also with appropriate forms of physiotherapy.

Dizziness and diabetes

It should be remembered that severe dizziness – in addition to e.g. increased thirst, the need to urinate frequently, appetite attacks or weight fluctuations – may be one of the symptoms that signal diabetes . They occur when the level of blood sugar in the body suddenly drops or increases. Of course, the treatment of diabetes and all accompanying symptoms is a multi-pronged action, including giving the patient insulin, but also changing his eating habits.

Interestingly, there are studies confirming that dizziness is more common in patients with already diagnosed and treated diabetes. It turns out that diabetics have disorders in the functioning of the labyrinth. In this case, it is recommended to introduce appropriate rehabilitation.