Experiencing dizzy spells is a sensation that most people are familiar with and can be caused by something as innocuous as standing up too quickly, or having skipped a meal causing a drop in blood sugar levels.
These are generally not cause for concern on their own if they occur infrequently, however, dizzy spells and feeling faint can sometimes be a sign of an underlying issue, particularly when other symptoms are present such as fainting and losing consciousness. If this is something you have experienced, you should seek medical attention promptly.
Dizzy spells and feeling faint are frequently caused by a reduction in blood flow to the brain, resulting in a lack of oxygen supply and can relate to any number of conditions such as;
- Low blood pressure
- Heart valve problems
- Medications (such as beta blockers and ACE inhibitors)
Dizziness can be a common symptom in people with heart failure, and can occur when a heart valve narrows and can no longer work effectively. In these instances, to achieve the correct diagnosis, your consultant will need to perform a series of generally painless, non-invasive tests to identify the cause. These can include;
- Blood tests - to check Thyroid, liver and kidney function
- Chest X-Ray - this will allow your consultant to check the appearance of your heart and for any fluid buildup on your lungs, another symptom of heart failure
- Stress test - this test measures how effectively your heart and blood vessels perform under stress, which is typically in the form of exertion on treadmill.
- Electrocardiogram - this will check the electrical impulses of your heart via a series of electrodes attached to the skin, allowing the heart rhythm to be monitored
- Echocardiogram - this test produces a visual image of your heart via soundwaves and allows your doctor to see how well your heart performs.
- CT and/or MRI scan - these tests involve using scanning techniques to produce high quality, detailed images of your heart and chest.
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Heart check-ups are imperative to protecting your health by catching any developing heart problems early on before symptoms develop, and most importantly, whilst changes to a person's lifestyle can still make a significant impact.
They can also identify any pre-existing heart disease that may already be present.
Here at Manchester Cardiology Services, we can help identify any potential predispositions you may have to developing heart problems, and give you peace of mind when it comes to your health.