Dizziness and palpitations are two symptoms that are often related to each- other.
Palpitation is the awareness of the heart beating, and dizziness is a term used to describe a range of sensations such as feeling faint, woozy, weak or unsteady, and vertigo (which is a false sense that you or your surroundings are moving).
There are various conditions that can cause dizziness and palpitations both.
The most common conditions of causing these symptoms are as following:
1. Inner ear affections:
a. Middle ear infection - caused by a large scale of bacteria. It increases the pressure on the eardrum by causing thus pain and sometimes ear loss
b. Labyrinthitis - Infection of Labyrinth, a structure of the inner ear.
c. Meniere’s disease - a disease involving the buildup of excessive fluids in the inner ear. It is characterized by sudden episodes of vertigo and may also be accompanied by other symptoms like hear loss, ringing in the ear etc.
2. Circulation and heart affections
a. Drop in blood pressure - a sudden drop in the blood pressure causes dizziness and palpitations. It often occurs when standing up too quickly. This condition is also called orthostatic hypotension
b. Poor blood circulation-conditions such as cardiomyopathy, heart attacks, heart arrhythmias, and transient ischemic attacks cause both dizziness and palpitations.
c. Valve affections - diseases affecting heart valves cause blood circulation disorders and, therefore, can cause dizziness and heart palpitations
3. Anemia - all types of anemia (lack of iron, vitamin B12 deficiency, hemolytic anemia etc) can cause dizziness and heart palpitations.
4. Dehydration and overheating
5. Stress, anxiety or panic attacks.
Usually experiencing dizziness and palpitations is not a sign of a significant health problem, but if they are accompanied by other symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, seeing immediately a doctor is necessary.
The mechanism linking dizziness and palpitations varies from the disease causing them.
Every time when we feel both dizziness and palpitations, then, keep in mind that dizziness is due to palpitations. Having heart valve affections, dehydration, orthostatic hypotension, anemia, or any other disease that compromises blood circulation, decreases the outflow of the heart. The decreased blood volume causes inadequate blood flow to the brain thus causing dizziness.
But, in the inner ear problems, the mechanism behind these two symptoms is different.
More specifically, the inner ear diseases such as Meniere’s disease, Labyrinthitis, or inner ear infections cause dizziness by affecting the inner ear structures responsible for the equilibrium (cochlea and labyrinth.)
It is yet not cleared the reason of having palpitations in inner ear diseases, but they are thought to be secondary symptoms to the main disease. And, in case of inner ear infection, palpitations are believed to be due to the infection.
Dizziness and palpitations usually get better with time, as the body grows accustomed to the condition. They tend to go away of their own, if not caused by serious health issues.
The treatment depends on the underlying disease. But, they can be overcome by following some easy steps.
Some easy tips to prevent these symptoms are as following:
1. Do not consume caffeine, nicotine, alcohol products late in the day, or before bed
2. Do not exercise at night, especially when having heart problems
3. Do not stand up immediately when you are sited down
4. Drink at least 1.5- liter fluids every day, to prevent dehydration
5. Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep
6. Consider some relaxing techniques such as breathing and exhaling slowly and deeply, yoga etc to overcame stressed situations
7. Sit or lie down immediately when feeling dizzy
8. In case of an underlying disease, take the meds as prescribed by the doctor.