Home Remedies for Dizziness

woman in pain lying on couch with hand on her hand
Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

Feeling dizzy is an incredibly common sensation. While there are different types of dizziness, the general definition is that dizziness is a feeling of disorientation, lightheadedness, or unsteadiness. Dizziness affects your sense of balance and can increase your risk of falling. This feeling can be unpleasant in and of itself, and it can also cause nausea, make your body feel weak, and lead to fainting.

Here is everything you need to know about dizziness including the types and the causes as well as some home remedies. Please keep in mind that if feeling dizzy is something you consistently experience, you should talk to a healthcare provider.

Types of Dizziness

The two overarching types of dizziness are lightheadedness and vertigo. Lightheadedness is a type of dizziness that may make you feel disoriented and like you are about to faint, but not like your surroundings are actually moving. It typically improves or disappears if you sit or lie down.

Vertigo, on the other hand, makes it feel like your surroundings are moving when they are actually not. It is more likely to affect balance and cause you to fall. Both types of dizziness can lead to nausea or vomiting.

Feelings of dizziness occur in 70% of the U.S. population at some point in their lives, and almost half of people speak to their healthcare provider about feeling dizzy. This issue increases in likelihood with age.

Causes of Dizziness

While dizziness is disorienting and can be scary, a dizzy spell does not always indicate an underlying issue. Dizziness is a widespread sensation, so it is common to feel lightheaded from time to time.

Evaluating the causes of dizziness can help you determine if it is a more serious problem as well as help you decide what you need to do or if you need to contact a healthcare provider. Here are some possible causes of dizziness.

Dehydration

Being dehydrated—whether from being sick, overheated, or not drinking enough fluids—lowers the volume of your blood along with your blood pressure. When this occurs, it prevents your brain from getting enough blood, thus leading to a feeling of lightheadedness.

Drinking a glass of water may make you feel better right away. But if you have not had much to eat or drink in a few days, it may take some time to rehydrate your body.

Exercise-Related

Sometimes dizziness is a side-effect of working out. Exercising harder or faster than usual can cause you to feel lightheaded, particularly if you have been breathing rapidly.

Not giving your body a cooldown period after a cardio workout can lead to dizziness because your heart did not have a chance to slow down. Being dehydrated or working out on an empty stomach can also cause you to feel shaky or dizzy.

Additionally, feeling dizzy when standing up quickly can actually come from working out, too. Exercising regularly makes your heart stronger, and a stronger heart has a larger stroke volume.

This means that the amount of blood pumped out during each beat is greater, so the heart doesn't have to beat as often. While this is healthy, a slow heart rate can sometimes lead to dizziness when you change position because it makes your heart rate speed up.

Low Blood Sugar

Low blood sugar is one of the top five reasons why you might feel woozy. Drinking or eating can help counteract this.

When your blood sugar is low, every system in your body goes on reserve to use as little energy as possible. Even your brain is trying to conserve energy, which is the reason you may feel lightheaded or confused.

Side Effect of Medication

Dizziness can be a side effect of many different medications, including anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, sedatives, and tranquilizers. Medications that lower blood pressure, in particular, may cause faintness if they lower it too much.

If you experience dizziness while on a medication, talk to your healthcare provider. They may decide that adjusting the dose or switching prescriptions may help alleviate this issue.

Drug or Alcohol Use

Prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and alcohol can all lead to dizziness. Plus, the interaction between alcohol and drugs can be a problem, particularly for older adults. Make sure you are reading the labels of all prescription and nonprescription drugs to determine if you should avoid alcohol while taking them.

Additionally, alcohol or drug intoxication, as well as withdrawal from each (including nicotine), can also cause dizziness. In fact, alcohol use can become a serious issue, so make sure you drink in moderation. The USDA indicates that men should not drink more than 2 drinks in a day and women should not have more than 1 drink in a day.

If you or a loved one are struggling with substance use or addiction, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.

For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.

Inner Ear Problems

Your sense of balance is developed through inputs from your eyes, your sensory nerves, and your inner ear. Your inner ear has sensors that detect gravity and back-and-forth motion, both of which feel out of sorts when experiencing vertigo.

Inner ear problems can be caused by an infection, Meniere's disease, migraines, and benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)—which is the most common cause of vertigo. Mild ear infections, and the dizziness that accompanies them, often clear up on their own, but if you have experienced severe or lengthy ear pain it is best to contact a doctor to diagnose the root of the problem and explore treatment options.

Circulation Problems

If your heart is not pumping enough blood to your brain it may cause you to feel dizzy or faint. This may occur due to a drop in blood pressure like when standing up too quickly, or due to poor blood circulation.

Circulation issues can be caused by conditions such as cardiomyopathy, heart attack, heart arrhythmia, and transient ischemic attack. While dizziness from changing position quickly is not a serious problem, other circulation problems are. If your dizziness is accompanied by any other symptoms related to the heart, seek treatment immediately.

Various Conditions and Disorders

Traumatic brain injury and migraines can lead to feelings of dizziness. Likewise, some neurological disorders, including Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis, can also lead to progressive loss of balance. Even anxiety can cause lightheadedness, particularly panic attacks.

Along with these standalone factors, there are conditions or situations that contribute to an increased likelihood of experiencing dizziness. These include pregnancy, diabetes, menstruation, anemia, and even allergies—the last of which can be an indication of a serious anaphylactic reaction and requires immediate medical attention.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are commonly referred to as “flu-like" symptoms and include dizziness as well as headache, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Carbon monoxide poisoning is incredibly serious and can be fatal.

If you believe your dizziness is caused by carbon monoxide poisoning or if you smell gas in your home, call 911 and leave the area immediately. You will likely need immediate medical attention.

Home Remedies to Treat Dizziness

There are medications, therapies, and surgical treatments for dizziness, depending on the severity of the episodes and the underlying cause. If you are not suffering from a serious issue of which dizziness is a symptom, there are simple home remedies that can help prevent dizziness. Here are some ways you can treat dizziness.

Strive for a Healthy Lifestyle

A healthy diet can help combat dizziness, which includes drinking plenty of fluids. Limit your use of caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco, as these substances can worsen the causes and symptoms of dizziness. Getting enough sleep and avoiding stress also helps prevent lightheadedness.

If you have diabetes or struggle with low blood sugar, focus on regulating your blood sugar. Some research indicates that drinking apple cider vinegar also may help regular blood sugar. If it seems that your dizziness is related to your food intake, consult a healthcare provider to ensure that you identify and manage any pre-existing conditions.

Stay Hydrated

To steer clear of dizziness caused by exercising, stay hydrated. Hydration—specifically drinking water before eating—is also very important in older adults who have postprandial hypotension, which means an excessive decrease in blood pressure that occurs after a meal.

It often results in dizziness, lightheadedness, and even falls. Research has shown that drinking water prior to eating, as well as eating small, low-carb meals frequently, helps manage these symptoms.

Practice At-Home Maneuvers

Because dizziness can lead to loss of balance, practicing balance exercises such as tai chi or yoga can help you improve balance and keep symptoms, particularly of vertigo, in control. If you experience vertigo caused by BPPV, you can follow the Epley or Semont-Toupet maneuvers—exercises that help shift the calcium crystals in your inner ear back to their correct positions.

Most experts recommend performing these maneuvers with a healthcare provider but an adapted exercise can be done safely at home. Some researchers recommend restricting movement following these maneuvers, including minimizing head movement, lying in bed with at least three pillows, not lying on the side, and avoiding cervical extension or rotation.

Another option is to practice regulating your breathing. Pick a spot to hold your gaze steady—instead of allowing your eyes to jump around which can lead to feelings of disorientation— and practice breathing. You want to make sure you don’t hold your breath.

Avoid Hot Baths and Showers

If you are prone to dizzy spells, avoiding prolonged time spent in hot water can help avoid them. Low blood pressure and an overworked heart can lead to feelings of light-headedness and dizziness. Limiting the time spent in hot showers and baths can eliminate this cause of dizziness.

High temperatures cause your blood vessels to dilate, which lowers blood pressure. What's more, the hot water causes the volume of blood your heart pumps to rise. This increased blood volume causes the heart's workload to increase.

Take Ginkgo Biloba Extract

Ginkgo biloba is a Chinese herb known as a natural remedy for many maladies, including resolving the symptoms of vertigo. Most ginkgo products are made with an extract derived from the leaves of the maidenhair tree.

Ginkgo biloba treats vertigo by managing blood flow to the brain, which relieves dizziness and balance issues. One study concluded that using ginkgo biloba to treat vertigo was just as effective as betahistine, a medicine prescribed for balance disorders like vertigo. Betahistine is the world's most-prescribed medication for vertiginous syndromes.

Try Ginger

Ginger has long been used as a combattant for motion sickness and nausea. While research has not completely explained why ginger can counteract dizziness, it is suggested that it prevents the development of gastric dysrhythmias and the elevation of plasma vasopressin, which leads to nausea associated with motion sickness.

Ginger can be consumed in many different forms. From ginger tea and supplements to ginger chews and more, there are a lot of different options to experiment with.

Take It Easy

If you do experience a dizzy spell, sit or lie down immediately and hydrate as soon as possible. Avoid activities that put you in a situation where an accident or fall could be likely.

You want to avoid driving, standing in high places, climbing a ladder, walking in the dark, or wearing high-heeled shoes—until you are certain the feeling has passed.

When to Contact a Healthcare Provder

Sometimes experiencing dizziness is an indication of a more serious condition. Call 911 or go to an emergency room if you are dizzy and:

  • Experience chest pain
  • Notice an irregular heart rate or your heart is skipping beats
  • Have shortness of breath
  • Experience weakness
  • Are unable to move an arm or leg
  • Notice a change in vision or speech
  • Faint or lose alertness for more than a few minutes
  • Experience a head injury
  • Have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit, a headache, or a very stiff neck
  • Experience seizures
  • Have trouble keeping fluids down

A Word From Verywell

While experiencing the occasional brief period of dizziness is likely not a major concern, frequently recurring dizzy spells, instances lasting longer than 15 minutes, or those accompanied by other significant symptoms should be shared with a healthcare provider.

And, if you are considering trying any of these home remedies be sure to talk to a healthcare provider first. They can help you determine what is right for you. You also want to ensure that the remedy you select will not interfere with any medications you are taking.

Was this page helpful?
12 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Cleveland Clinic. Dizziness. Updated June 25, 2020.

  2. University of Michigan Health. Dizziness: Lightheadedness and vertigo. Updated February 26, 2020.

  3. The Hearing and Balance Clinic. Facts about dizziness.

  4. Harvard Medical School. Lightheaded? Top five reasons you might feel woozy.

  5. USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025.

  6. Johnston CS, Kim CM, Buller AJ. Vinegar improves insulin sensitivity to a high-carbohydrate meal in subjects with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetesDiabetes Care. 2004;27(1):281-282. doi:10.2337/diacare.27.1.281

  7. Grobéty B, Grasser EK, Yepuri G, Dulloo AG, Montani JP. Postprandial hypotension in older adults: Can it be prevented by drinking water before the mealClinical Nutrition. 2015;34(5):885-891. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2014.09.009

  8. Johns Hopkins Medicine. Home Epley maneuver.

  9. Harvard Medical School. Hot baths and saunas: Beneficial for your heart?

  10. Sokolova L, Hoerr R, Mishchenko T. Treatment of Vertigo: A Randomized, Double-Blind Trial Comparing Efficacy and Safety of Ginkgo biloba Extract EGb 761 and BetahistineInt J Otolaryngol. 2014;2014:682439. doi:10.1155/2014/682439

  11. Lien HC, Sun WM, Chen YH, Kim H, Hasler W, Owyang C. Effects of ginger on motion sickness and gastric slow-wave dysrhythmias induced by circular vectionAmerican Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology. 2003;284(3):G481-G489. doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00164.2002

  12. U.S. National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus. Dizziness. Updated May 13, 2019.