Lightheadedness
Feeling lightheaded is a sensation that may precede syncope or fainting. It is usually experienced when in an upright position (standing or si...

Table of Contents
powered by healthline

Average Ratings

Definition

Lightheadedness is a reeling sensation, caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the brain.

Alternative Names

Lightheaded.

Synopsis

Feeling lightheaded is a sensation that may precede syncope or fainting. It is usually experienced when in an upright position (standing or sitting). If it occurs when you are lying down, then the cause may be more serious. One may have the sense the floor is moving or the room is spinning. Because the sensation is often related to a momentary decreased blood flow to the brain, the sensation can usually be remedied by getting into a horizontal position.

Associated Diagnoses

  • Bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart arrythmias
  • Anemia
  • Heart attack
  • Pregnancy
  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm
  • Acute mountain sickness
  • Anxiety
  • Vertigo
  • Transient ischemic attack (TIA)
  • Depression

Treatments

Lie down. If the sensation persists, call your doctor.

Call 911:

If you experience lightheadedness along with any of these symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Passing out or fainting
  • Sweating profusely
  • Bleeding
  • Jaw pain
  • Severe headache
  • Blindness or visual changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Pallor (pale skin)

Written by: JC Jones MA, RN
Reviewed by: Paul Auerbach, MD
Written: September 19, 2007
Last Updated: September 30, 2007
Published By: Healthline Networks Inc.
Licensed from
Top of page
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools