Light-headedness makes a person feel that he or she is about to faint or pass out. It is caused by a momentary drop in blood pressure and blood flow to the head.
Nausea or vomiting sometimes accompanies light-headedness. Symptoms usually improve or go away after lying down.
It is common to feel light-headed occasionally. Light-headedness often occurs when a person gets up too quickly from a seated or lying position (orthostatic hypotension).
Unlike vertigo, light-headedness does not produce a sensation of movement. Vertigo causes a spinning or whirling sensation that may lead to nausea or vomiting, loss of balance, trouble walking or standing, and falling.
Current as of: July 1, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & David Messenger MD