Are there other significant symptoms besides dizziness or lightheadedness?

SYMPTOM of Dizziness:  spinning sensation, often with loss of balance
SYMPTOM of Lightheadedness:  near fainting feeling, often with unsteadiness

Is the patient under 5 or over 60 years of age?
Did you faint?
Are you taking a new medicine?
Is this dizziness/lightheadedness worse than you have ever experienced?
Are there unusual problems with your vision?
Have you lost the ability to walk?
Is there severe headache?
Is there weakness or numbness in your arms or legs?
Has there been vomiting for more than 12 hours?
Are you prevented from performing your usual activities for more than 24 hours?

ACTIVITIES:  Decrease physical activities until feeling better.  Get plenty of rest.  Stay calm.

MEDICATIONS:  If you are otherwise healthy, you may try Dramamine or generic Meclizine for dizziness (but not lightheadedness).  Take no more than the recommended dosage.

DIET:  Usually no changes in the diet are needed.  Drink plenty of fluids, especially water.  If you think a certain food is worsening the problem, then it should be avoided.  If there is nausea or vomiting, then eat no solid food nor drink milk till nausea and vomiting stop.


1. Unbearable pain develops.
2. Onset of stiff neck, visual disturbances, or fever over 103 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Development of severe weakness, severe dizziness, or severe vomiting.
4. No improvement by tomorrow.

Patient Medical Assistant logo

Return to the Home Page

This page was last updated on 19 August 1999.