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Feeling Lightheaded: When to Be Worried

By Sara Butler

Fainting can be scary, but most of the time when it happens, it’s harmless. Fainting or lightheadedness occurs when the brain has decreased blood supply. It sounds serious, but there are many reasons why you may be experiencing it. Here are some of the most common reasons for lightheadedness and when you need to be concerned about it.


Some people will become lightheaded or faint when they sweat and lose too much fluid. Heat combined with dehydration can trigger a pathway in the central nervous system that causes the blood pressure to drop. If you experience this, lying down will usually help you to feel better fast, but make sure you drink some water, too.

Being Surprised!

It is true that some people get lightheaded or pass out when they’re surprised. It triggers another reaction in your central nervous system that causes a sudden drop in your blood pressure. It may also cause you to feel nauseous, too. If this happens to you, warn those around you not to throw you a surprise party!

Standing Up Too Fast

Standing too suddenly may make you feel as if you’re going to pass out – you may even see spots in your vision. This is due to something called orthostatic hypotension, another way to say blood pressure drops when you stand. It shouldn’t worry you too much unless it doesn’t get better within a few seconds. If it lasts, it’s worth mentioning to your doctor.


Some medications such as anti-anxiety pills or pain medicine can cause lightheadedness or dizziness. That’s because they can slow your heart or affect your brain directly to bring on symptoms. If you’re feeling this way, then a review of medications may be in order. There’s a small chance it may mean you’re allergic to medications you might be taking.


One of the most serious implications of lightheadedness is a stroke. You may also experience difficulty speaking, weakness, tingling, or numbness. This is a situation that requires immediate medical attention – as in, call an ambulance! The brain is not getting blood to certain parts of it, and without blood, those places will die or at the very least be significantly damaged.

Lightheadedness happens. The trick is to know when it’s normal or when it’s serious so you can take your concerns to a trusted medical professional in your life. 

 To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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