Lightheaded and dizzy, although you may experience both sensations simultaneously, are two different things. Lightheadedness is feeling like you are about to pass out, while dizziness is the sensation of the room whirling around you. Although the sensations are different, the causes of lightheadedness and dizziness are often the same.
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Common Causes of Lightheadedness
Most often lightheadedness occurs when there is a lack of blood reaching the brain such as your blood pressure drops suddenly. Dehydration, low blood sugar, influenza or a cold can also cause lightheadedness.
Common Causes of Dizziness
Sudden changes in position often cause dizziness, often as a result of inner ear problems.
Serious Causes of Lightheadedness
Shock, heart attack and stroke can lead to feeling lightheaded, as can heat stroke and heart arrhythmia. Seek medical attention immediately.
Serious Causes of Dizziness
Stroke, vestibular migraine headache, a benign tumour on the vestibular nerve, or an inner ear infection can cause sudden onset of dizziness. If you experience unexplained dizziness, you should seek medical help.
Panic attacks, hyperventilation and severe stress can lead to lightheaded dizziness. When faced with having to leave the protection of their home, agoraphobics can experience debilitating dizziness and lightheadedness.
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