You get up quickly and the world starts to spin and you feel lightheaded and unsteady on your feet. Or, you experience bouts of dizziness out of the blue. While there are many conditions that can lead to dizziness, this symptom can be a sign of an issue with your cardiovascular health, which is where we come in.
As heart health experts, the team here South Shore Cardiovascular Associates is very familiar with dizziness as a symptom. From heart attack to heart failure, dizziness can be a wakeup call — and one that you shouldn't ignore.
Here, we look at a few cardiovascular conditions in which dizziness frequently crops up. In most of these cases, the dizziness occurs because your brain isn’t getting enough oxygen, which is delivered via blood from your heart.
Let’s first start with the most serious condition: heart attack. Every 40 seconds in the United States, someone has a heart attack. The symptoms of a heart attack typically come on suddenly and include:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Dizziness, lightheadedness, fainting
- Pain in the back, shoulder, and jaw
Should you or a loved one experience these symptoms, call 911 immediately.
If your heartbeats lack a steady rhythm — they're too fast, too slow, or irregular — it’s called an arrhythmia. One of the more common arrhythmias — atrial fibrillation (AFib) — can lead to dizziness.
With AFib, the electrical activity in the upper chambers of your heart is irregular, and blood doesn’t flow through your heart as it should. AFib affects about 6 million Americans, but this number is expected to double to more than 12 million by 2030.
This condition is actually more of a category, because cardiomyopathy refers to issues that affect the heart muscle. When you have cardiomyopathy, your heart isn’t pumping blood efficiently, which can lead to fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations.
As the name implies, heart failure is a condition in which your heart isn’t functioning optimally, meaning it’s not pumping enough oxygenated blood into your body. More than 6 million Americans are living with heart failure, leaving them to cope with:
- Shortness of breath
- Leg and abdominal swelling
Heart failure is irreversible, but there are ways to manage the disease.
If you have low blood pressure, you can experience frequent dizziness, especially when you stand up from squatting or sitting. This dizziness occurs as your cardiovascular system repressurizes to deliver blood.
Outside of your cardiovascular health, you might experience ongoing dizziness for neurological or musculoskeletal reasons. Whatever the underlying cause, our goal here is to underscore the importance of seeking help for chronic dizziness.
To get started, please book an appointment online or over the phone with South Shore Cardiovascular Associates today. We have offices in Brandon, Riverview, Tampa, and Sun City Center, Florida.