3 Urgent Reasons For Ongoing Dizziness

Occasional dizziness may not be a big deal and can wait until you have the opportunity to see your primary doctor. In some instances, dizziness can be a sign of a major underlying problem that requires prompt evaluation at urgent care or the emergency room.

Inner Ear Inflammation

Inner ear inflammation or infections are often caused by viruses. It is common to have problems with your inner ear after dealing with a cold or the flu. Depending on the underlying cause of inflammation, the symptoms can come on suddenly or progress over days. In addition to dizziness, you might experience problems with balance and difficulties hearing. When the inflammation is because of an infection, there are other symptoms, such as a fever, pain in the ear or the outside of the ear, and discharge from the affected ear. Ear infections are quite common in children. Depending on the cause of ear inflammation, a course of steroids can be used to suppress inflammation or antibiotics are necessary to address an infection.

Neurological Concerns

Many neurological problems can cause dizziness. Symptoms associated with a stroke — such as paralysis, speech difficulties, numbness, and dizziness — should be addressed in an emergency room. If someone cannot take you to an emergency room quickly, call an ambulance. The time from symptom emergence to treatment can make a difference between having the option to try medications to dissolve clots and not being a candidate for treatment. Dizziness that occurs with a severe headache is another issue that warrants being seen by an emergency room. Sometimes people experience dizziness when standing up suddenly or changing position. If this happens regularly, you may want to visit an urgent care clinic. Conditions such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or vestibular migraines are not dangerous but will require a proper diagnosis and medications to reduce symptoms.

Heart Problems

Heart problems can also cause dizziness. Among the most concerning cardiovascular problems are heart attacks, which require emergency care. Some cardiac concerns that might warrant a visit to urgent care are an elevated heart rate or heart arrhythmias. One example of an arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation (A-fib). A-fib can come and go, or be a persistent problem. The major problem with A-fib is this abnormal rhythm can increase your risk of blood clots, which can be deadly. An electrocardiogram (EKG) can be used to detect heart rhythm abnormalities. A-fib can come with any number of symptoms, such as feeling heart palpitations, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Treatment involves medications to help the heart beat normally. In some instances of A-fib, you may need cardioversion, which involves shocking the heart back into a normal rhythm.

When you experience ongoing dizziness, it can be difficult to know when to visit the emergency room or if you should wait to see your primary doctor. In many cases, the best option is to visit an urgent care for evaluation to determine if going to the emergency room is necessary.