Lifestyle & Management
There are some simple, common-sense ways to reduce the impact of a dizzy spell.
Tips to Prevent Dizziness and Loss of Balance
- Sit or lie down right away if you feel dizzy.
- During a vertigo attack, avoid things that will make the sensations worse. Move slowly and try not to change the position of your head. Rest your eyes by staying away from bright lights and television. Don’t try to read.
- Rest as much as you can and don’t try to go back to your regular activities before you are ready.
- Don’t smoke.
- Avoid exposure to things that may congest your sinuses.
- Try to manage your stress and anxiety levels. Medications, yoga, meditation, or psychotherapy are all effective.
Some changes in your diet may be quite helpful, depending on your diagnosis. Generally, it is important to eat a healthy diet, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid too much alcohol.
If you have Meniere’s disease, your doctor may suggest the following:
- Avoid caffeine (in coffee, tea, chocolate, sodas) since stimulation from caffeine may make symptoms like tinnitus worse.
- Eat six small meals daily rather than three large ones, and eat and drink the same amounts each time.
- Reduce your daily salt intake to less than 1,500 mg, to reduce fluid retention.
- Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG), a meat tenderizer and flavor enhancer. MSG may cause fluid retention.
If you have sudden low blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension), you should:
- Drink plenty of fluids every day.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Consider increasing your salt intake to encourage fluid retention (if you don’t have high blood pressure between hypotensive episodes). Check with your healthcare provider to see if it is safe for you to increase your salt.
Dizziness can contribute to problems with balance, falls, accidents, depression, anxiety, and poor quality of life. More importantly, dizziness can also be a sign of other concerning health conditions that need prompt evaluation and management. It is always best to consult your healthcare provider with any concerns about dizziness.
Last Updated December 2020