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Lightheadedness is a feeling of faintness or dizziness that comes on quickly. Sometimes, people experience a brief spell of lightheadedness when they stand up too quickly, as the blood drains from the head too fast.
As you likely know, lightheadedness doesn’t always warrant a trip to the doctor. However, in some cases, lightheadedness is a symptom of underlying medical conditions. In this article, we’ll advise when lightheadedness warrants a doctor’s visit.
Sometimes lightheadedness is caused by something as simple as standing from a seated position too quickly. In these circumstances, lightheadedness is caused by decreased blood flow to the brain, which may negatively impact blood pressure.
Lightheadedness is closely associated with dizziness, which can cause you to feel unsteady on your feet. Dizziness can be caused by a variety of problems, including the ear, brain, heart, and pre-existing conditions.
There are natural remedies to reduce the likelihood you’ll experience lightheadedness, including:
Dehydration is a cause of dizziness, so make sure you’re getting enough fluids throughout the day.7
Try moving from seated to standing at a slower pace, if you frequently feel light-headed after standing up too fast.
Jerking yourself around, by bending down too quickly or standing up too fast, can cause lightheadedness. Practice controlled action to reduce lightheadedness.
People with light sensitivity are more prone to dizziness as it triggers responses in the eye and brain. If you suffer from light sensitivity, wear sunglasses outdoors and avoid bright indoor lighting.8
Most lightheadedness that’s not associated with a serious underlying health issue subsides quickly.
Some treatments for less severe episodes of lightheadedness include9:
Severe lightheadedness episodes may be treated in the following ways10:
If you regularly experience lightheadedness, visit your GP and see if there are any underlying causes, like low blood pressure, which are contributing to the problem.
Other reasons to visit a GP for lightheadedness, include11:
Seek medical attention for lightheadedness immediately if you’re experiencing12:
If any of these symptoms occur, do not attempt to drive yourself to hospital, but call an ambulance.
Last updated: 2 April 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019
Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry
Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.
After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.