Feeling Faint and Unbalanced? Here’s What You Need to Know

Have you recently felt as if you were on the verge of passing out or have experienced dizziness? Perhaps you’ve felt unstable or even off-balanced like the ground was moving beneath you. These feelings can be common, but can also represent a variety of medical issues.

In this article, we’ll cover the different types of dizziness, their potential causative factors, as well as the process by which they are diagnosed.

What Does Dizziness Mean?

In fact, the term “dizziness” describes a range of symptoms caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Anxiety
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood pressure

Symptoms may include:

  • Tinnitus
  • Sweating
  • Faintness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Feeling lightheaded

Two common types of dizziness include:

1. Disequilibrium

Disequilibrium is a condition that causes one to feel unstable or unbalanced, making it a challenge to stand or be mobile. What’s more, it could lead to spatial disorientation and vertigo. This sort of dizziness is also often linked to health issues that impact the vestibular system, which is responsible for maintaining balance.

2. Vertigo

An acute type of dizziness defined as vertigo is marked by the sense of a spinning or rotating room. Vertigo can be the result of a brain condition such as a disorder that impacts the inner ear, for instance, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), or as the result of a stroke.

Causes of Dizziness/Disorientation

Several illnesses can also contribute to dizziness and confusion. Some of the most common causes include: 

  • Inner ear issues
  • Neurological disorders
  • Trauma to the head or neck

Head/Neck Injury

Concussions, vertebral misalignment, as well as whiplash, can all lead to disorientation and lightheadedness. Such injuries may also develop as a consequence of participating in sports, falling, or automobile accidents.

Inner Ear Disorders

Confusion and dizziness are also possible indicators of disorders that impact the vestibular system, which has the charge of maintaining balance. These disorders include:

Neurological Conditions

Some conditions that can cause disorientation and dizziness are courtesy of a neurological condition, such as:

  • Brain tumors 
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease

In fact, the aforementioned conditions may affect the brain’s ability to process information linked to spatial orientation and balance.

Diagnostic Tests

Your healthcare provider can recommend diagnostic testing for feelings of lightheadedness or disorientation to determine the underlying cause. In fact, the following are some of the most common diagnostic tests:

  1. X-Ray – An X-ray may be utilized if a neck or head injury is suspected to determine the state of the bones in the affected area.
  2. CT Scan – A CT scan can help check the brain for evidence of a concussion as well as other brain injuries.
  3. MRI – This provides a more in-depth evaluation of the spinal cord and the brain, and can also help in evaluating more precise spinal injuries.
  4. Otoscope – An instrument known as an otoscope can help inspect the inner ear for evidence of an inner ear issue, like BPPV. Furthermore, it can also help in looking for inner ear crystals, which can trigger dizziness and lightheadedness.

What Does Treatment Consist Of?

Identifying the cause of your symptoms will determine the course of treatment. In some cases, something as simple as drinking more water or getting up a little slower may assist in relieving symptoms associated with conditions like low blood pressure and dehydration. Even so, if you’re dealing with more complex conditions, for instance, neurological conditions or inner ear disorders, treatment, and management may consist of a combination of lifestyle changes, medication, and physical therapy. 

Our personalized treatment plans at Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab are tailored to meet your unique needs as well as support you in attaining optimal health and wellness. To help you rediscover your sense of self, our team of experienced medical specialists will work with you to produce a tailor-made strategy that’s appropriate for your particular needs.


Several conditions can lead to dizziness as well as disorientation. However, it’s essential to consult a medical professional if you experience these symptoms to identify the underlying issue. Diagnostic tests like MRIs, X-rays, otoscopes, as well as CT scans can assist in identifying what is causing your symptoms ― allowing for proper treatment and management.

If you are feeling dizzy and/or lightheaded, don’t wait to get help from a reputable healthcare provider. At Cawley Physical Therapy and Rehab, we offer personalized assessment and treatment plans to help you regain your sense of self. 

Contact us today to start your journey to happiness, health, and fitness.