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Dizziness:I'm dizzy, what's behind it?

Feeling of instability, feeling that everything is shaking around you or feeling like you are in the drum of a machine to wash… Dizziness is unpleasant and impressive, but rarely serious. Their origin can be multiple.

Sporadic malaise associated with dizziness may result from a drop in blood pressure, hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar levels), especially in the late morning or afternoon, or from taking certain medications (psychotropics, diuretics or beta-blockers), the side effects of which cause a feeling of inebriation. Motion sickness is also likely to cause dizziness.

Between the rapid movements of the vehicle and the discordant information transmitted by the balance receptors, the brain is disoriented and sends confused orders that result in nausea and dizziness. All these dizzying sensations are usually temporary.

Inner-ear dysfunction

The labyrinth of the inner ear is essential for balance. Like a gyroscope, it detects the position of the head and body in space using three differently oriented channels that contain microscopic crystals, the otoliths. These move when we move. They then inform the nerve centers - through sensory sensors - to adapt the posture in order to avoid the fall. But if the otoliths of an ear clump together, a great vertigo appears at the slightest inclination of the head. This is what doctors call benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), the most common cause of true vertigo.

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"The symptoms rarely last more than a minute, explains Dr. Martine Ohresser, ENT. If they appear every time you move your head, you should consult a specialist". This lays the patient down on the side where the vertigo is felt, then tilts him quickly to the other side in order to disperse the microcrystals. Done well, this maneuver (known as Semont and Toupet) eliminates dizziness in one or two sessions.

Other ear disorders can cause vertigo:infection (otitis), inflammation of the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain (vestibular neuritis) or increased pressure in the labyrinth (Ménière's disease). These conditions are treated with medication.

A vagus-nerve runaway

Intense abdominal pain, excessive physical exertion or heat stroke in a confined atmosphere... and you feel like your legs are giving out and everything is spinning around you? You must lie down as soon as possible and breathe calmly because it is probably vagal discomfort. When the vagus nerve – which runs from the stomach to the heart and then to the brain – is overstimulated, tension drops, muscle strength decreases and balance becomes precarious.

The discomfort dissipates when the brain is once again properly supplied with oxygen. To improve its irrigation, elevate your legs to promote the return of blood to the heart. You can also breathe in peppermint essential oil:it contains terpenes that raise the tension when it is too low.

Not to be confused with an attack of spasmophilia which is rarely accompanied by dizziness but manifests itself by gasping and spasms. Hyperventilation due to stress or strong emotion causes the level of carbon dioxide in the blood to drop, causing discomfort. To counter it, breathe three to four times into a plastic bag.

Dizziness:when should you be worried?

Dizziness can be a sign of dehydration. During a heat wave, do not take it lightly because the drop in blood volume that causes the drop in blood pressure can have serious repercussions. Drink immediately (one glass every 20 minutes), if possible sugar water or salted broth, and cool your skin with a damp cloth.

A sudden onset of vertigo, associated with violent headaches, vomiting and/or partial paralysis (on one side of the body), requires an emergency consultation. Dial 15 immediately:a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) is to be feared.

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