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 ER. 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 ER.

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

HCA West Florida has 20 full-service ERs, conveniently located along Florida’s West Coast. Our hospitals are leaders in improving ER processes to enhance patient care and reduce wait times