It’s terrifying, but 90 percent of people who have passed out are absolutely fine, says Venkatesh Thiruganasambandamoorthy, MBBS, clinical epidemiologist at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa. An irregular heartbeat, called an arrhythmia, means your heart beats either too slow or too fast, which can in turn affect the blood supply that reaches your brain, Dr. Phillips says. Some of these reasons are common and not worrisome, but others need more evaluation.”, Even if you don’t faint from it, that drop in blood pressure or heart rate can cause lightheadedness, that very specific yet hard to describe feeling that you might pass out. Accessed Aug. 5, 2018. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site. Not sure what you can stomach? Dizziness has many possible causes, including inner ear disturbance, motion sickness and medication effects. Knowing your cardiovascular risk can help you decide to make healthy changes. Your dizziness may be accompanied by nausea or be so sudden or severe that you need to sit or lie down. Feeling woozy, lightheaded, or a little faint is a common complaint among older adults. Bope ET, et al. This kind of sudden fainting, often without any warning, is most concerning, says Melissa S. Burroughs Peña, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Some men with an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short) eventually start to experience urinary incontinence, the involuntary discharge of urine. Diuretics are notorious for this," says Dr. Grossman. Enter search terms and tap the Search button. By activating your account, you will create a login and password. Certain meds, like painkillers and some anti-anxiety pills, can produce dizziness or lightheadedness. 2017;95:154. We may earn commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. These congenital issues are likely to occur in younger people, Dr. Burroughs Peña says, whereas people 60 and up are at a higher risk of an arrhythmia. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 4, 2018. Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order. While you might be tempted to grab a sweetened beverage or sugary snack for energy, several hours later you may feel worse. The decrease in blood flow that leads to feeling lightheaded could be caused by a blood clot in the brain, Dr. Burroughs Peña says, which can cause what’s called an ischemic stroke. Anemia. The autonomic nervous system helps the body regulate the shift in blood pressure when we stand up. “It’s still a blood pressure change that causes the lightheadedness, but it’s an immune reaction that causes it.”. With inner ear disorders, your brain receives signals from the inner ear that aren't consistent with what your eyes and sensory nerves are receiving. Feeling lightheaded or even seeing black spots in your vision when you hop up quickly from a seated position actually has a name: orthostatic hypotension, which describes a sudden drop in blood pressure upon standing. Meniere disease. Experiencing dizziness while driving a car or operating heavy machinery can increase the likelihood of an accident. Both articles and products will be searched. Walls RM, et al., eds. Doctors explain what causes that woozy feeling, from dehydration to serious medical conditions. This is more of a metabolic concern, Dr. Burroughs Peña says. Accessed Aug. 8, 2018. At the base of the canals are the utricle and saccule, each containing a patch of sensory hair cells. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Mayo Clinic School of Continuous Professional Development, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, Book: Mayo Clinic on Better Hearing and Balance, FREE book offer – Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may need an intravenous infusion of fluid. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? Accessed Aug. 5, 2018. A false sense of motion or spinning (vertigo), A feeling of floating, wooziness or heavy-headedness. At its most serious, lightheadedness may be a sign of a heart attack or stroke. 15 Hidden Reasons You're Not Losing Weight, Here's Exactly Why You Always Have to Pee. Generally, see your doctor if you experience any recurrent, sudden, severe, or prolonged and unexplained dizziness or vertigo. Your sense of balance depends on the combined input from the various parts of your sensory system. Compared to the relatively slow onset of symptoms caused by “Surprise!”-related fainting, heart-related fainting comes on fast, so you might not even notice any lightheadedness. Bystander CPR may help cardiac arrest survivors return to work, A new look at treating Alzheimer's disease, Atrial fibrillation: The latest treatment trends, Many older adults take unneeded blood pressure drugs, Get trusted advice from the doctors at Harvard Medical School, Learn tips for living a healthy lifestyle, Stay up-to-date on the latest developments in health, Receive special offers on health books and reports.