Feeling dizzy, lightheaded or off-balance is not usually serious, but it can be a symptom of a variety of health issues.
One of the conditions dizziness can be a sign of is Meniere’s disease – a condition of the inner ear.
Meniere’s disease can cause sudden attacks of feeling like the room is spinning around (vertigo) a ringing noise inside the ear (tinnitus), ear pressure felt deep inside the ear and hearing loss.
So what symptoms indicate you could be having a Meniere’s disease attack?
The NHS lists symptoms you may experience:
- Dizziness with a spinning sensation
- A feeling of being unsteady on your feet
- Feeling sick or vomiting
- Ringing, roaring or buzzing inside the ear
- A sudden drop in hearing
These symptoms, which typically happen all at once, can last minutes or hours, but most commonly last two to three hours.
The health body adds: “The condition usually starts in one ear, but can spread to both ears over time.
“It can take a day or two for the symptoms to disappear completely. You may feel tired after an attack.
“Symptoms vary from person to person, but an attack of hearing loss without vertigo is uncommon.”
Meniere’s disease most commonly affects people aged 20 to 60 years old, and it’s uncommon in children.
If you think you have Meniere’s disease you should see your GP.
Left untreated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss.
How can you treat Menier’s disease?
There’s no cure for the condition but there is medication available to help control vertigo, nausea and vomiting.
Recommended by GPs, prochlorperazine can help relieve severe nausea and vomiting and antihistamines can help relieve mild nausea, vomiting and vertigo.
Feeling dizzy could also be a sign of migraine or dehydration, but it may also be a symptom of something more harmful, such as poisonous gas or a sudden fall in blood pressure.