Everyone has had that feeling of standing up and then instantly getting light headed—happens to me all the time. You feel like you’re going to fall over, might feel sick or sweat, and your vision may go weird. It’s caused by the brain not getting enough blood and caused by multiple things.
According to a Harvard article, these are the top five reasons people get light headed:
- Dehydration – This is probably the most common cause. Drink plenty of water, especially on hot days or if you are sick.
- Side effects – Medications may have side effects that cause you to be light headed, especially if they lower your blood pressure.
- Sudden drop in blood pressure – Orthostatic hypotension is the condition of the autonomic nervous system deteriorating. This system regulates the blood pressure when we move around; so if it’s not working properly, you may be more prone to getting light headed.
- Low blood sugar – Good new! You need sugar in your life! Just not too much. Every system in your body needs sugar for energy to keep functioning, including the brain. So if you don’t have enough, you’re chances of feeling light headed go up.
- Heart attack and stroke – This is the most serious cause of light headedness and is the reason you should see a doctor if you experience other symptoms as well. These include pain in the chest, arm, back, or jaw; shortness of breath; or nausea. If the light headedness lingers more than 15 minutes, seek medical attention immediately.
If you feel light headed, sit down. The last thing you want is to fall and split your head open or something. Sipping on water after is helpful, especially since the cause is most commonly dehydration.
Getting light headed frequently normally isn’t life threatening. However, if it’s affecting your daily life, talk to your doctor about causes and potential treatments.