If you’re prone to dizziness or vertigo, you know how difficult it can be to keep up your normal life. Dizziness spells can strike at virtually any time, and they can last for hours, even days at a time.
Perhaps the only thing more stressful to deal with than your dizziness is trying to find a doctor who will a) believe in your dizziness and b) recommend effective treatment. But here are some common conditions that can cause dizziness so you can ask about them.
TMJ and TMD are both short for temporomandibular joint disorders. The TMJ label is usually used when jaw dysfunction causes symptoms that affect your body beyond your teeth and jaw, such as headaches, tingling fingers, or vertigo. About 30% of people experience TMJ at some point in their lives, though most of the time TMJ doesn’t manifest with symptoms other than minor jaw pain and resolves on its own.
It’s unclear how TMJ causes these ear symptoms (though, to be fair, much about TMJ is unclear). There are many strong connections between the jaw and the ear. The temporal bone that houses your body’s labyrinthine balance organ is part of the temporomandibular joint.
Neuromuscular TMJ treatment is very successful at reducing or eliminating ear-related symptoms. Even if you’ve been treated elsewhere for TMJ, we encourage you to contact us to learn how we might be able to help.
Meniere’s disease is an ear affliction whose causes are also somewhat unclear. Ostensibly, elevated fluid pressure in the ear is responsible for symptoms like ear pain, hearing loss, sensations of fullness, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
Many people who are initially diagnosed with Meniere’s disease are later discovered to have TMJ.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
BPPV is another condition that directly impacts your body’s balance organ in the inner ear. This organ has a series of canals that are partially full of water, and your body can tell the orientation of your head by the position of water in these canals.
Dizziness is caused when the signals from these canals don’t match the signals from your other balance organs, such as your sight. For example, you feel dizzy after spinning around because when you stop, your eyes see you’ve stopped, but the fluid in your ears is still spinning.
In BPPV, stony crystals called otoliths get into the ear canals, distorting the measurements of head position. In 90% of cases, you can resolve BPPV with the Epley maneuver, which is a series of head tilts that gets the crystals back out of the ear canals.
Most people develop this condition over the age of 60, though it’s sometimes associated with head trauma or dehydration.
Anxiety can cause psychosomatic dizziness. Your brain is so overwhelmed with worry that it has difficulty dealing with some of its normal responsibilities, such as maintaining balance.
You’re probably aware when anxiety is causing your dizziness, because you have a strong sense of your fears. You may also experience other anxiety symptoms such as restlessness and heart palpitations.
The solution for this is to treat the anxiety. Some home remedies for low levels of anxiety is to try relaxation techniques, cutting down on stimulants like caffeine or nicotine, and getting more exercise. If anxiety persists, if it makes it hard to function, or if you think you might hurt yourself or others, seek professional help.
Low Blood Pressure
You know what it’s like to stand up too fast? That feeling of dizziness can be more perpetual for people who have very low blood pressure. You’re more likely to get that feeling if you’re chronically dehydrated, so stay hydrated. If the condition persists, talk to your doctor.
Anemia is when your body can’t make enough red blood cells to carry oxygen due to an iron shortage. The iron shortage may be because you’re not getting enough iron in your diet or because your body can’t utilize iron properly. Sometimes dietary changes are enough to restore your body’s ability to carry oxygen to your brain, but in many cases, medical treatment is required.
Ear infection is another condition that can interfere with your body’s balance organ in the inner ear. When your ear is infected, swelling can occur in the inner ear, affecting the dimensions and orientation of the ear canals so that your body is no longer getting accurate information about head position.Other symptoms may include fever, pain in the ear, and discharge from the ear into the the throat.
To resolve this kind of dizziness, you have to resolve the infection.
Is Your Treatment Not Working?
Are you tired of putting your life on hold due to dizziness? Are you undergoing treatment but it’s just not working? Maybe now is the time to seek another treatment option.