When to Visit the ER for Dizziness

Feelings of dizziness can actually indicate two different conditions: lightheadedness and vertigo.

Lightheadedness can cause you to feel dizzy or as if you are about pass out, but not as though your surroundings are moving. Often, this feeling of lightheadedness goes away once you lie down. Vertigo is a feeling that you or your surroundings are moving when neither actually is. Feeling as though you’re off balance or tilting could be an indicator of vertigo.

If you’re not sure whether your dizziness requires emergency care, consider these guidelines.

If You Have These Symptoms, You May Require Emergency Care

If the dizziness is not a fleeting feeling, eased by lying down or your balance is compromised, you should immediately visit the closest emergency department. If dizziness is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should also seek emergency care. 

  • Other neurological symptoms, including double vision and loss of vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Weakness in the muscles
  • Difficulty walking
  • Headache
  • Vomiting 

If You Have These Medical Conditions, You May Require Emergency Care

For individuals with certain medical histories, dizziness may signify a more serious issue. If you have any of these medical conditions and are experiencing bouts of dizziness, you should visit an emergency department. 

  • Individuals over the age of 50
  • History of fainting associated with dizziness
  • Underlying heart disease or previous stroke