Dizziness refers to feelings of lightheadedness, vertigo, or disequilibrium: Lightheadedness can make someone feel as if he or she is about to faint. Vertigo is the sensation that surroundings are spinning or moving. Disequilibrium can make a person feel unsteady and off balance. More to Know The causes of dizziness are wide-ranging. Lightheadedness is often the result of a drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension) or not enough blood flow from the heart. Heart problems, stroke, internal bleeding, and shock can all contribute. Lightheadedness also can happen with viruses, low blood sugar, allergies, and dehydration. Vertigo is usually associated with a vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of the balance organs of the inner ear) or central vestibular disorder (a dysfunction of one or more parts of the central nervous system that help process balance and spatial information). Inflammation, fluid build-up, and infections of the inner ear are common causes of vertigo, along with a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and migraines. Finally, disequilibrium, or loss of balance, can be caused by inner ear problems; joint, muscle, or sensory disorders; neurological conditions; and even some medicines. Keep in Mind Dizziness can sometimes be the sign of a more serious health problem, so it's important to get medical help for repeated dizzy spells. How a doctor treats dizziness will depend upon its cause and specific symptoms. All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts. Back to Articles Related Articles Balance Disorders Most kids stumble and fall from time to time, but a child who continually loses his or her balance might have a balance disorder. Read More A to Z: Orthostatic Hypotension Learn about orthostatic hypotension, an abnormal drop in blood pressure that occurs when someone moves from sitting or lying down to standing up. Read More A to Z Symptom: Fainting In most cases, fainting is not a sign of a dangerous problem, but should still be discussed with a doctor. Read More First Aid: Fainting Fainting is a loss of consciousness that can be caused by many things. Here's what to do if your child faints or is about to faint. Read More Hypoglycemia When blood glucose levels drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that require immediate treatment. Read More Ear Injuries Ear injuries not only can affect a child's hearing, but sense of balance too. That's because our ears also help keep us steady on our feet. Read More Strokes This "brain attack" happens when blood flow to the brain stops, even for a second. Often, kids who have a stroke can learn to use their arms and legs and speak again through brain retraining. Read More A to Z: Migraine A migraine is a recurring headache that often causes nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Read More Dehydration Dehydration is when the amount of water in the body has dropped too low. Read about what causes dehydration, what it does to your body, and how to prevent it. Read More Fainting Fainting is pretty common in teens. The good news is that most of the time it's not a sign of something serious. Read More First Aid: Heat Illness In hot weather, a child's internal temperature can rise and cause heat exhaustion, which can progress to heatstroke if not treated quickly. Read More Ototoxicity (Ear Poisoning) Ototoxicity is when a person develops hearing or balance problems. Learn about this side effect of taking certain medicines. Read More What Is Hypoglycemia? Lots of people wonder if they have hypoglycemia, but the condition is not common in teens. Get the facts on hypoglycemia. Read More Migraine Headaches If you've ever had a migraine, you know that these headaches can cause severe pain and other symptoms. Read about migraine causes, treatments, prevention tips, and lots more. Read More When Blood Sugar Is Too Low When blood glucose levels drop too low, it's called hypoglycemia. Very low blood sugar levels can cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. Read More When Blood Sugar Is Too Low Hypoglycemia is the medical word for low blood sugar level. It needs to be treated right away. Learn more about what to do when blood sugar is too low in this article for kids. Read More Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor. © 1995-2021 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved. Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.