10 Causes of Lightheadedness

By dr. mera
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Lightheadedness is a term used to describe the sensation of being close to loss of consciousness or fainting. Many individuals even say that it feels as though their head is weightless. Conversely, other people use it to describe a sensation of dizziness or as if their surroundings are “spinning”. Although it can be hard to tell the difference between both, note that dizziness is not the same as lightheadedness. Additionally, the causes of dizziness can be very different from those of lightheadedness. Describing the sensation adequately can help your doctor move forward with an accurate diagnosis.

Lightheadedness is a common complaint among the elderly. Usually, it is not caused by life-threatening conditions and it often improves fast. However, it must not be ignored because it can lead to falls or injuries in these patients. In rare cases, the cause can be serious. Thus, even if you or a person you know experience a brief episode of lightheadedness, it must always be reported to a health care provider. Here are 10 Causes of Lightheadedness.

1. Dehydration

Fluids make up almost two-thirds of the normal human body. Dehydration happens when the body loses or uses more fluids than what it takes in. In consequence, the cells of our body can’t carry out their normal functions. Additionally, it can change the balance of electrolytes (i.e. salts, potassium) in the body, which can cause several complications. Common causes of dehydration include low water intake, diarrhea, vomiting, profuse sweating, fever, and excessive urination.

When a person is dehydrated, no matter the cause, the volume of their blood decreases. Consequently, their blood pressure can drop, impairing the blood supply to important organs like the brain. When the brain does not receive enough oxygen, lightheadedness can occur. Other signs or symptoms of dehydration in adults include extreme thirst, darker urine, decreased urination, and confusion.


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