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Sheltering Arms Blog

What’s Causing My Dizziness?

Posted on: June 5, 2018 by Robert Moss

By: Cristin Beazley, PT, DPT, CBIS

Feeling lightheaded, off balance, or like you’re floating, spinning, or moving are all ways people describe dizziness. It’s one of the most common symptoms reported after a concussion, but a concussion is just one condition that can make you feel dizzy.

Dizziness can be caused by a variety of things, but the most common reason is because of a disruption in how the brain and the vestibular system communicate and function. The vestibular system is located in your inner ear and is primarily responsible for balance, perceiving motion, and controlling the motor movements of your eyes. This disruption of the vestibular system is responsible for the following four most common causes of dizziness:

  1. Motion sensitivity occurs when you move or change positions. For example, rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, and standing up may cause you to feel dizzy.
  2. Oculomotor impairments occur if your eye movements are impaired and movements of your eyes cause dizziness. If your eyes are not able to take in the sensory information around you secondary to impaired movements, that may result in dizziness. For example, you may get dizzy while reading or watching something that is moving quickly around you.
  3. Poor gaze stabilization results in the inability to keep your eyes fixed on an object while your head is moving. For example, you may get dizzy when you are up and moving around, move your head quickly, or feel like your eyes can’t keep up with your head movements.
  4. Visual motion sensitivity happens when your eyes are unable to interpret a lot of visual sensory information resulting in dizziness. For example, riding in a car, watching anything move quickly, being in a grocery store, or looking at patterns on carpets or walls may make you feel uncomfortable or dizzy

This list includes the most common causes of dizziness, but not all of the possible causes. All of the above impairments are treatable. The concussion and vestibular specialists at Sheltering Arms are specifically trained on assessments and treatment strategies to address all of the above impairments as well as other possible causes of your symptoms.

Click here to learn more about how we can help you determine the underlying cause(s) of your dizziness and/or balance disorder. If you think you or a loved one are suffering from one or more of the above impairments, please call (804) 764-1000 or click here to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with one of our therapists.