Dizziness is a fairly common ailment that most people will suffer through at some point in their life. Though these instances are rarely a cause for a medical emergency there are, however, certain cases where dizziness can manifest itself rather suddenly. This is a rather scary thing to think about because suffering from a sudden dizziness attack while driving or operating heavy machinery can certainly lead to death or serious injury.

Sudden dizziness attacks, or vertigo attacks, are caused by a variety of unique reasons most of which are relatively common and not necessarily cause for a trip to the doctor. However, sudden dizziness could be caused by high blood pressure, a panic disorder or anxiety disorder, the sudden onset of a heart attack or other heart disease, hearing loss, a vestibular disorder, an issue with the body's blood flow, and many other potential health problems. If you have experienced a sudden spell of dizziness then this article is certainly something you should read in order to expand your knowledge and understand why these are occurring. With that being said, here a few of the major reasons that cause sudden dizziness attacks:

Physical Stress


One of the more common causes of sudden dizziness is through extreme physical stress. Physical stress can cause sudden dizziness in a variety of ways that are all somewhat connected. They usually occur when a person has been working their body to the point where dehydration sets in due to lack of fluids in the body. This is fairly common for people who work in extremely hot temperatures or simply don’t drink enough fluids or eat enough throughout the day. These dizzy spells can last just a few seconds or, in more serious cases, several minutes. It usually begins with a feeling of faintness due to a lack of oxygen to the person’s brain. Other symptoms that can accompany dizziness due to physical exertion and dehydration are vomiting, sweating, and diarrhea.

Emotional Stress

Sudden Dizziness Attack

Sudden dizziness caused by emotional stress can be caused by a few different factors. I’m sure we’ve all seen movies or TV shows where someone gets too excited or too sad about a situation and passes out. This is certainly true and it can happen for a variety of reasons. One of those reasons is hyperventilation. Sometimes, when a person is suffering from emotional stress they begin to lose control over their breathing causing them to either breath too fast or too slow. Doing this drastically changes the amount of CO2 in the blood which will cause a person to become dizzy.

Another possible factor that can cause a person suffering from emotional stress to become dizzy is that it creates a stress response. This rather vague term simply suggests that a person’s body that is going through some sort of emotional stress will respond to that stress by releasing hormones that promote physical, psychological, and emotional response that will help them deal with the situation. Put simply it allows for a person’s instincts to take over with a fight or flight response. Adrenaline kicks in and the emotional stress causes the brain to increase blood flow to certain parts of the body which it deems necessary in order for the body to survive the situation presented. This can cause an increased heart and respiratory rate which can cause sudden dizziness.

A couple other causes of dizziness through emotional stress are consistently elevated stress levels which can cause the body’s nervous system to act erratically. This will usually result in fatigue and dizziness.


Inner Ear Imbalances

Sudden dizziness can also be caused by inner ear imbalances. This can happen when pressure builds up in the inner ear caused by water entering the ear canal. This usually causes a build-up of bacteria which can affect the person’s balance and cause them to feel suddenly dizzy. There are certainly other causes of inner ear imbalances besides a build-up of  bacteria due to water in the ear, but, no matter what the cause, it basically all breaks down to a malfunction in the inner ear nerve which is connected to the brain. Anytime this nerve, which is called the labyrinth, is not working right, sudden dizziness can occur.


Certain medications can cause bouts of sudden dizziness due to the body’s reaction to the chemicals. This can happen for a variety of reasons and if you are experiencing sudden dizziness you should check the side-effects of any medications you are currently taking.

Mixing alcohol with certain medication can also be a cause of sudden dizziness. You should never mix alcohol with medications that specifically say not to. In fact, alcohol by itself can cause sudden dizziness when consumed too quickly or in excess.


Sudden dizziness can also be caused by a variety of heart problems. These are without a doubt the most serious causes of sudden dizziness and can sometimes result in death. People often feel dizzy just before suffering a heart attack.


Hypoglycemia occurs because of low blood sugar in the body. This can cause sudden dizziness and general feelings of fatigue. These instances occur more frequently with people who are suffering from diabetes and most have to take daily insulin shot in order to counteract these effects.


Intense and sudden feelings of dizziness can also occur due to epidural hematomas. This is due to swelling and bleeding of the tissue surrounding the brain. When this occurs, pressure builds up on the brain causing sudden dizziness. This rather serious condition occurs most commonly due to blunt force trauma to the head and can be fatal in more serious cases.



Perhaps one of the more well-known causes of sudden dizziness, vertigo is a sudden sensation of lightheadedness, loss of balance, and the feeling as if you are looking down from a lofty height. The causes of vertigo are somewhat perplexing and could be associated with a few different medical conditions, such as stroke, multiple sclerosis, or brain hemorrhage.Vertigo can also be caused by Meniere’s DiseaseBenign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (or BPPV), and vestibular disorders. The risks of vertigo are most commonly just losing your balance and falling, as well as sensations of nausea similar to seasickness or motion sickness. Though this may not seem so bad, it will certainly cause injuries if it occurs at a significant height. Other causes of vertigo include a build-up of pressure in the inner ear and both cancerous and non-cancerous growths on the nerves in the inner ear.



Post by:

Pavel Kotlykov

I'm the creator of this website. I share what I've learned bringing my own life to balance. I have found a way. I've been educating myself for the past several years in order to understand a bigger picture with research, interviews, and many self-experiments. Dizziness is only a surface symptom of a very complex ocean of underlying imbalances including our minds. I hope you found what you've been looking for. If yes, please consider subscribing to our newsletter further down this page. If you haven't found an answer, check out other blog posts here, or leave a comment below.

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