16 Possible Reasons You’re Dealing With Dizzy Spells

16 Possible Reasons You’re Dealing With Dizzy Spells

by Sue Jones
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“The typical story is that somebody is lying down in bed, and they experience a real spinning sensation like they’re on a carousel,” explains Clifford Hume, M.D., associate professor of head and neck surgery at the University of Washington and a researcher at the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center. “The sensation usually lasts for about a minute, then goes away.”

In some cases it can stick around for a few days or weeks, and it could require treatment such as canalith repositioning, which is a series of slow head movements, to move those tiny crystals back into an area of the ear that doesn’t cause vertigo, according to the Mayo Clinic. Surgery is also an option if that doesn’t work.

Overdoing it during workouts

Exercise without replenishing your fluids or having enough calories for energy is a surefire way to feel dizzy. It may not seem like a big deal, but if you’re constantly feeling this way during physical activity, focus on hydrating and eating a snack to give you additional energy, recommends the Cleveland Clinic. If the problem stops, you have your answer. If you continue to feel dizzy despite properly fueling your body, it’s worth a trip to see your doctor. Getting dizzy at the gym or out on a run could cause you to fall and injure yourself.

Though not as common, it is possible to exercise so intensely that you’re gasping for air, which leads to hyperventilation—rapid breathing that causes carbon dioxide levels in the blood to drop, resulting in light-headedness. If that sounds like you, know that it’s okay to take a break during your HIIT class (it really isn’t a competition!).

Nutritional deficiencies

Eating a colorful array of foods is a good way to meet your nutritional needs, but sometimes you may still end up not getting enough vitamins and minerals. An iron deficiency, in particular, can lead to symptoms of dizziness, as it can cause iron-deficiency anemia (another cause on this list), and involves not having enough healthy red blood cells. Other vitamin deficiencies could also be to blame, though, including a lack of folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.

To ensure vitamin deficiencies aren’t a cause for your dizziness, try adding more dark leafy green vegetables, fortified foods, nuts, and fish into your diet, says the Mayo Clinic.

What causes sudden or random dizzy spells?

If your dizzy spells seem to come on suddenly, without warning, it could be another cause. It’s worth looking into things like:


There are a lot of meds that could be the culprit here, but to name a few: Anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, and sedatives are all known to cause dizziness as a side effect. Blood-pressure-lowering medications could also make you dizzy if they work a little too well and your blood pressure drops excessively low, per the Mayo Clinic.

When in doubt, make an appointment with your doctor to review your medication list (don’t forget to include any supplements you take) to see if something could be giving you that light-headed feeling. Even if you suspect a certain medication is the culprit, don’t stop taking it without your doctor’s advice first.

Meniere’s disease

Those with Meniere’s disease typically experience a sudden loss of hearing in one ear, ringing in their ears, along with vertigo and dizziness, says Dr. Hume. Since dizziness and vertigo can go from zero to 60 within a few minutes, it can be really alarming, but thankfully episodes typically only last for 20 minutes to a few hours, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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