Fall Because of Dizziness, Weakness, or Loss of Balance

The symptoms that led to your fall have been evaluated. Your healthcare provider feels it is safe for you to return home.

Many things can cause you to become dizzy. Everyone means a little something different by the word dizzy. People may describe their symptoms using these words:

  • It doesn’t feel right in my head

  • It feels like spinning in my head

  • It seems like the room is spinning

  • My balance feels off

  • I feel lightheaded, like I am going to pass out

All these descriptions can have real causes. 

Your balance mechanism is in your inner ear. Anything disturbing it can make you feel dizzy, whether it is from a cold, an injury, or many other things. Anything that causes your blood pressure to drop suddenly can make you feel lightheaded, or like you are going to faint. This is because at that moment there might not be enough blood flowing to your brain. Causes include:

  • Medicines

  • Dehydration

  • Standing up or bending over too quickly

  • Becoming overheated

  • Taking a hot shower or bath

  • Straining hard while lifting something or using the toilet

  • Strokes, heart attack, heart valve disease, very slow or very fast heart rate

  • Low blood sugar

  • Ear infection

  • Hyperventilation

  • Anemia

  • Injury

  • Infection

  • Panic attack

  • Pregnancy

You may be at risk of repeat falls. Take precautions described below to prevent another fall.

Home care

  • If you become lightheaded or dizzy, lie down immediately or sit and lean forward with your head down. It is better to do this than fall and seriously hurt or injure yourself.

  • Rest today. When changing position, take a moment to be sure any dizziness goes away before standing and walking.

  • If you have been prescribed a walker, be sure to use it whenever you walk, even if it is a short distance.

  • If you were injured during the fall, follow the advice from your healthcare provider regarding care of your injury.

  • Be sure your healthcare provider knows all the medicines, herbs, and supplements you take. Some medicines can cause dizziness.

  • Cut back on alcohol use.

Follow-up care

Unless given other advice, call your healthcare provider on the next office day to advise of your fall and to schedule an appointment. You may require further treatment for the underlying condition that caused today’s fall.

If X-ray or a CT scan were done, you will be notified of the results, especially if it affects treatment.

Call 911

Call 911 if any of these occur:

  • Trouble breathing

  • Confused or trouble arousing

  • Fainting or loss of consciousness

  • Rapid or very slow heart rate

  • Seizure

  • Trouble with speech or vision, weakness of an arm or leg

  • Trouble walking or talking, loss of balance

  • Numbness or weakness in one side of your body, facial droop

When to seek medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of the following occur:

  • Another fall

  • Continued dizzy spells

  • Severe headache

  • Blood in vomit or stools (black or red color)

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