Dizziness: Lightheadedness and Vertigo
You may be able to prevent lightheadedness caused by Reference orthostatic hypotension Opens New Window by taking your time.
- Get up slowly from your bed or chair.
- Sit on the edge of the bed for a few minutes before standing.
- Sit up or stand up slowly to avoid sudden changes in blood flow to your head that can make you feel lightheaded.
In most cases, vertigo cannot be prevented. But some cases of vertigo are caused by head injuries. Taking the following safety measures can help lower your risk of getting a head injury that might lead to vertigo.
- Wear your seat belt when you are traveling in a motor vehicle. Secure young children in age-appropriate child car seats.
- Do not use alcohol or other drugs before playing sports or when operating an automobile or other equipment.
- Wear a helmet and other protective clothing whenever you are biking, motorcycling, skating, kayaking, horseback riding, skiing, snowboarding, rock climbing, or participating in any high-speed or impact sport.
- Wear a hard hat if you work in a construction job or in an industrial area.
- Do not dive into shallow or unfamiliar water.
- Do not keep firearms in your home. If you must keep firearms, lock them up and store them unloaded and uncocked. Lock ammunition in a separate area.
When you are dizzy, your risk of falling increases. You can make changes in your home to reduce your risk of falls.
- Remove raised doorway thresholds, throw rugs, and clutter.
- Repair loose carpet or raised areas in the floor that may cause you to trip.
- Rearrange furniture and electrical cords to keep them out of walking paths.
- Use nonskid floor wax and wipe up spills immediately, especially on ceramic tile floors.
- Keep stairways, porches, and outside walkways well lit. Use night lights in hallways and bathrooms.
- Install sturdy handrails on stairways and grab handles and nonskid mats inside and outside your shower or tub and near the toilet.
- Use shower chairs and bath benches.
- Add extra light switches if needed or use remote switches (such as clap-on switches) or timers on lights by doors and near your bed so that you will not have to get up quickly to turn on lights or walk across the room in the dark.
- Put things within easy reach so you do not need to reach overhead for them.
- Keep a cordless phone and a flashlight with new batteries by your bed.
For more information about falls, see the topic Reference Preventing Falls.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 12, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine