Q: I tend to suffer from dizzy spells. Please advise.
A: Dizziness is a mixed-up phenomenon. It is caused when the brain receives mixed signals from systems that facilitate our balance. Who has not experienced dizzy spells, or dizziness, at some point in time?
Put simply, our balance is sustained by the complex web of four systems: the inner ears [the Organ of Corti]; the eyes; pressure receptors in the skin, especially in the joints and spine, besides the muscle and joint sensory receptors. This is also called as our spatial point of reference. Dizziness, motion sickness [e.g., travelling in an airplane, bus, train, or car] and vertigo surface when the central nervous system receives inconsistent communication from the other four components.
When your bus, or airplane, is cruising through a rough squall, it is possible for your eyes not to perceive the exterior movement. All you notice is within the bus. Your systems now inform your brain that your physical space is being pulled around. This makes you sick — you may have a bout of vomiting. Also, damage to the inner ear can lead to dizziness. While this may be limited to just one side, the damaged ear, for one, cannot send the same signals to the brain as does a healthy ear.
If you have simple positional dizziness, simply avoid sudden head movements. This is generally enough to deal with the condition. For those whose blood pressure falls when standing, symptoms of dizziness may be avoided by getting or standing up slowly from a seated or lying position. If the problem persists, consult your family physician/therapist.
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