A dizzy spell is technically known as orthostatic hypotension or postural hypotension. Majority of the cases an hypotension is highly dangerous than hypertensive episode because of the nature of illness and mechanism involved within it. It’s just like opening an air valve all of a sudden, which leads to quick collapse of entire tube filled air! The same thing applies to our body, where a drop in blood pressure might take the person`s life away as it leads to a complete collapse which may be reversible or may not be.
Our blood vessels and circulatory path creates a pressure called blood pressure colloquially. On a technical basis the normal blood pressure is defined as the pressure exerted by the blood on the walls of the arteries under static conditions .Same way a hypotension is the lower pressure exertion under certain dynamic conditions, hypertension is a high pressure exerted on the walls of blood vessels under dynamic conditions.
A DIZZY SPELL or a orthostatic hypotension is due to the deviation in the dynamics of blood flow where, a sudden drop in BP occurs when a person assumes a standing posture from sitting or sleeping posture. What makes a fall in pressure then? Of course the reason is congestion or temporary cut off in the vascular return of blood from limbs ( periphery) to center. A sudden release of peripheral vascular congestion when we get up from ground will gush the blood from arteries towards heart where the blood exerts pressure in the reverse direction.(from arterial walls to the heart ) When this pressure happened to be in opposite direction instead of against the arteries , it leads to a zero or at least fall in arterial pressure for brief period , which is known as ORTHOSTATIC HYPOTENSION or DIZZY SPELL.
A Orthostatic hypotension is, when a blood pressure drops to somewhere around 100/60 mm of hg instead of 120/80mmof hg or even less. In an orthostatic hypotension this drop in blood pressure is severe associated with dizziness on getting up from ground that is the reason we call it by the term dizzy spell.
People aged 50 years plus, vascular disorders, genetic tendency of hypotension, previous history of spell are the major risk factors. This is quite natural due to the fragile and non-elastic arterial surfaces as age advances.
A dizzy spell is a result of multiple drug reactions like phenothiazines, MAOIS, tricyclic antidepressants,, beta-blockers, calcium-channel blockers, cytotoxics used in cancer therapy vasoconstricting agents used in bleeding illnesses, diuretics used in renal calculi .Severe blood loss , dehydration , over diuretic tendency, diarrhea, immediate post-operative period , burns and scalds leading to Hypovolemia. Usage of Salt-free diet which doesn’t retain fluid in the body , Anemia and platelet disorders leading to poor hematopoesis or loss of blood. Neuropathies like Parkinson`s disease, Addison’s disease, atherosclerosis, syncopal attack, multiple system atrophy etc.
One and only diagnostic criteria of Dizzy spell is blood pressure monitoring showing a fall in 20 mm hg of systolic and 10mmhg of diastolic pressure for at least 5 consecutive assessment sessions .Do not confirm the diagnosis based on just a dizzy feeling because even a normal man can feel it when he gets up suddenly.
Indomethacin, instant hydration , compressor bandages to build vascular pressure , potassium chloride, anti-diuretics to reduce urination which in turn improves hydration status, quick replacement of fluids, blood products, proper precautions to prevent injury from falls, environmental modifications and the most important is treating the underlying cause and eliminate it quickly to help in recovery. Plenty of oral fluids to hydrate the body, good intake of salt based diets to enhance fluid retention will help a lot.
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