Possible Causes of Dizziness or Fainting

Possible Causes of Dizziness or Fainting

Dizziness and fainting can have many causes. Below are some of the causes your healthcare provider will look to rule out.

Over weight woman in an office cubicle behind a stack of folders and papers, holding head, under stress.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV results when crystals inside the inner ear shift into the wrong position. BPPV causes episodes of vertigo (spinning). Episodes most often occur when the head is moved in a certain way.

Infection or Inflammation

The semicircular canals of the ear may become infected or inflamed. In this case, they can send the wrong balance signals. This causes vertigo.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease happens when there is too much fluid in the semicircular canals. This causes vertigo. It also causes hearing problems and buzzing or ringing in the ears (called tinnitus). You may also have a feeling of pressure or fullness in the ear.


Syncope is fainting that occurs when the brain doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. It can be caused by low heart rate or low blood pressure. This is called vasovagal syncope. It can also be caused by sitting or standing up too quickly. This is called orthostatic hypotension. Syncope may also be due to a heart valve problem.

Other Causes

  • Medications: Certain medications can cause dizziness and even fainting. In some cases, stopping a medication too quickly can lead to withdrawal symptoms, including dizziness and fainting.

  • Anxiety: Being anxious can lead to breathing changes, such as hyperventilation. These can lead to dizziness and fainting.