This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in June of 2020. For the original video go to https://youtu.be/3R-QQOtrNkY
Bob: Are you dizzy? We’re going to talk to you about the signs you need to call your doctor, now, immediately when you have dizziness. It’s not always an emergency, but sometimes it is.
Bob: Dizziness, very common, you get that light headedness, feeling faint, a false sense of spinning sometimes, the vertigo.
Bob: The problem is it can include unsteadiness, loss of balance, you can have a fall. It can lead to something bad. Some people also talk about, they feel like they’re floating, or like, swimming. I don’t know.
Brad: Do you feel that way sometimes, Bob?
Bob: So, we’re going to talk to you about when you should call the doctor immediately. At the end we’re also going to mention some common causes and cures. So, when to call the doctor immediately. If you experience sudden dizziness along with a head injury. So, like if you fell and then you have dizziness.
Brad: Right, even if you lift your head under a countertop and bump your head and you get dizziness associated with that then, you better be concerned.
Bob: Yeah, my daughter Jamie she got a concussion. It was something like that, I remember, so, it doesn’t take much. If you’re experiencing sudden dizziness with a headache and you normally don’t get headaches. You know we’re worried about a stroke or a brain aneurysm with a lot of these. I don’t want to panic people but, there are thing that could be along with that. Same thing with a neck ache. If you’re getting dizziness along with a neck ache that you didn’t have before.
Bob: Now, if you have neck aches all the time and then you get dizziness, then I’m not as concerned.
Brad: Right, if it pops out of nowhere, you haven’t had it before, there’s some potential for some circulation problems there.
Bob: A high fever along with dizziness, time to check with the doc. Blurred vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking. What are all those Brad?
Brad: Stroke or CVA potential.
Bob: Right. Numbness or tingling, along with the dizziness.
Brad: So, that would often, may be in the face as well.
Bob: Right, exactly.
Brad: It could be radiating down the neck or the arm, possibly.
Bob: Droopiness of the eye or mouth.
Brad: Typically, on one side. You would need to get ahold of the doc or get in quickly.
Bob: Loss of consciousness, I sure hope people go in and see the doctor if they suddenly go out. Chest pain, always with chest pain you don’t want to mess around with that. You want to have that checked out, even if you had a lot, at many times. Ongoing vomiting, that happened to me. I had it one night, I was a little dizzy and I vomited. But I only vomited once, and the dizziness went away so I didn’t go in.
Bob: But I think it was just something I ate.
Bob: Yeah, it was strange. Those are it, Brad, those are the things that you want to be concerned about and see the doctor.
Brad: I know one thing, if you do get dizziness, the big concern is falls and we’ve got some of these common causes that, for instance, my mother recently had a fall and her blood pressure medication was involved, we’re going to get into that.
Bob: Yeah, blood pressure, especially what they call orthostatic hypotension. Which means when you stand up your blood pressure goes down. Even when you go from laying down and you sit up. In fact, that’s a test we do. So, if someone is laying down, we first have them sit up. We check their blood pressure, then we have them stand up. We check their blood pressure again. If there’s a drop of 20 points that could mean that you have orthostatic hypotension.
Brad: It usually only lasts up to 30 seconds or so and it consistently clears up and you feel fine, that’s very common. Particularly the people who’ve been laying, if they’ve been ill and been lying flat for a number of days. Very common, especially if you’re older.
Bob: So, the easy recommendation or the easy solution, hopefully to that a lot of times is to sit up for a while before you get up. Also, stand up for a while before you walk.
Brad: Exactly, right.
Bob: Now, also, are they checking your mom’s medication at all?
Brad: Well, that was the issue. She fell but we think she took her blood pressure medication twice in the same day, so, it dropped it even more, but, with this covid-19 thing we couldn’t monitor.
Bob: Yeah, it’s been tough.
Brad: Yeah, we’ve got a nurse coming in there now and monitoring for us.
Bob: Okay. So, medication is a big common cause. Brad and I see this a lot. We work in skilled nursing facilities or have done a lot, and so we see a lot of these. Dehydration, very common in the elderly. Just seems like they don’t have the sensation that they are thirsty at all. And they don’t drink enough water and they become very dehydrated.
Brad: Or they drink too much coffee, which is diuretic, which can lower the fluids, and when you get lower fluids the blood pressure goes down.
Bob: And medications too.
Brad: Right. All these things can overlap.
Bob: What else Brad? One of the more common causes is when you have an inner ear, those little crystals, and they get into the wrong spot. We just did a video on BPPV.
Bob: The only good thing about that is it’s generally very treatable.
Brad: Right, without medication. Bob and I have treated many people.
Bob: We’ve got a bunch of videos on that. If you have that, you want to check out the Epley maneuver. Often, a treatment or two and it could possibly take it away.
Brad: Right. And that’s typically associated with head movement. Whether you’re laying in bed or up, if you move your head, sometimes quickly and sometimes not quickly and you get that associated nausea and spinning. A lot of times people will report the whole room is spinning, it can be very disturbing. Even younger people that have had it, they’re afraid.
Bob: Yeah, they’re thinking something very terrible is going on and like Brad said, one of the biggest signs of that, if you’re lying in bed and you turn your head to get up and all of a sudden, the world starts spinning.
Brad: Right, and if you feel like vomiting, typically that settles down within 30 seconds to a minute if you don’t move.
Bob: If it’s that type of BVP or that type of vertigo. It does tend to settle down, but it’s very scary. Hypoglycemia, in other words you have low blood sugar. I had a friend that would have a lot of episodes of this and luckily now he’s got a monitor. He’s got a needle that goes into his skin, the entire time, he’s got the monitor there, and he can monitor on his phone. The only thing is, when he stays over at our cabin, he sleeps down in the basement and alarm goes off if his blood sugars are too low.
Brad: Why would you send him down in the basement? Why don’t you put him with everyone else?
Bob: Because he tries to bug me all the time. You know, there’s like three, four people down in the basement.
Brad: I see.
Bob: The alarms going off and everyone’s waking up. Of course, there’s been some drinking, you know.
Brad: Oh Bob, let’s keep that to yourself.
Bob: Yeah, alright. Anemia, we see that too sometimes, especially after surgeries and stuff like that.
Brad: People who excessively exercise have that condition. Like if today I’d be out exercising for long periods of time, running, heat coming in, not enough salt, and I’ve gotten, not so much dizzy, but lightheaded.
Bob: I do too. You become a lot more sensitive as you get older. I’m taking those Nuun tablets. Those work well.
Brad: I need to get some of those because it’s this time of year where I’m going to be out riding my bike and sweating like a… Can I say pig? Sweating like a pig.
Bob: No, it’s true. I’ve gotten to the point now where I’m taking it representatively. I took one this morning. I’m more sensitive, I used to be able to handle that.
Brad: Yeah, well, Bob, the aging process takes its toll on all of us.
Bob: Yeah, that’s right. Thanks.
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