Dizziness is a term used to describe several disorienting sensations that may occur when you’re moving or staying still. Nearly everyone experiences harmless dizziness on a regular basis, and in most cases, a “dizzy spell” will go away after a few seconds. However, frequent dizziness, or dizziness accompanied by other symptoms, may indicate an underlying health concern.
The common sensations associated with dizziness include:
The feeling of “motion” or the “room spinning”
Faintness (the feeling like you may faint)
Dizziness is one of the most common reasons people see their doctor. Dizziness may be caused by factors such as poor circulation, effects from medication, inner ear disturbances, vestibular migraines, or motion sickness. Other causes of dizziness include alcohol use, anxiety, low blood sugar, low blood pressure, or head trauma.
Inner ear conditions are a common cause of dizziness. These conditions are the result of your brain reorienting itself after receiving signals that are inconsistent with what your eyes and senses are receiving.
Inner ear conditions that may cause dizziness include:
- Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV): BPPV causes you to feel dizzy for a few seconds after a quick change in head or body position. BBPV is the most common cause of vertigo, mostly affecting aging people or people who have experienced a head injury.
- Ear infections: Viral or bacterial infections of the ear may damage the vestibular nerve, which sends signals to the brain about balance. This can result in serious and prolonged vertigo.
- Meniere’s disease: Meniere’s disease is a condition of unknown cause that leads to spells of hearing problems, tinnitus (ringing in the ear), and prolonged episodes of vertigo that can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours.
Dizziness, especially in older people, can lead to balance problems and falls. It may also signify something more serious. Getting dizzy now and then isn’t a cause for concern. If you experience frequent or debilitating dizziness, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.
In most instances, dizziness will go away on its own within a few seconds or moments. No treatment is needed. If you are experiencing frequent dizzy spells, prolonged dizzy spells, or are worried about your safety, several treatment options exist. During your appointment, talk to your provider about what treatment plan for dizziness is right for you.
Common forms of medication used to treat dizziness include:
- Anti-nausea medication: Antihistamines such as dimenhydrinate or meclizine are frequently prescribed to provide immediate relief from dizziness. These drugs may cause drowsiness.
- Migraine medication: Certain migraine medications can help prevent migraine-related dizziness. Migraines that cause dizziness are known as vestibular migraines and may be treated with drugs such as lamotrigine.
- Diuretics: If dizziness is being caused by Meniere’s disease, your doctor may prescribe water pills along with a low-sodium diet to prevent further episodes. In some cases, ear injections or surgery may be needed to adequately treat Meniere’s disease.
Dizziness may not require medication. There are several self-care methods you can use to prevent dizzy spells and reduce the risk of falling. These methods include:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Dehydration, especially in hot weather, can cause bouts of dizziness. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, and supplement with electrolytes as needed. Fruit juices and coconut water are healthy and natural sources of electrolytes.
- Get plenty of sleep. Exhaustion can lead to dizziness. Make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep. Create a bedtime routine that will allow you to wind down and get adequate, restful sleep.
- Avoid moving suddenly. Don’t move your head too suddenly, and avoid standing up quickly. Use handrails when going up or down stairs to prevent falling.
- Eat a healthy diet. Meniere’s disease can be treated with a low-salt diet. Consume plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to get vital nutrients and prevent dizziness.
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol. These substances can cause dizziness.
What happens during a dizziness/ vertigo evaluation?
Audiologists perform these evaluations to get a sense of your balance and determine possible factors causing vertigo symptoms. During a dizziness/ vertigo evaluation, you will be asked about your medical history, any medication you may be taking, and your experience with vertigo symptoms.
After this preliminary consultation, peripheral assessments and balance testing will be conducted. Depending upon the results generated, a recommendation for additional follow-up testing or referral to a specialist (such as a neurologist or otolaryngologist) may be provided.
What is an audiologist?
Audiologists are health care professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions related to hearing loss, balance disorders, and other auditory problems. Audiologists usually obtain and bachelor's degree and a master’s degree in audiology from an accredited university. Most then earn a Doctor of Audiology (AuD) degree. After receiving their doctoral degree, audiologists obtain licensure from the state in which they practice and accreditation from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA awards a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Audiology (CCC-A)to qualified professionals.
What conditions do audiologists treat?
Audiologists can diagnose and treat conditions related to hearing disorders, balance problems, and the impairment of certain neural systems. Some examples of services audiologists provide include:
Hearing tests: Audiologists can perform hearing tests using listening devices and scoping tools to help determine the cause of hearing loss and the degree of hearing impairment.
- Hearing impairment/ loss: Audiologists are trained to diagnose and treat hearing disorders such as hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and hearing impairment due to damage to the inner ear. Depending on the level of hearing loss they find, audiologists may recommend treatment plans. These could include hearing aids, devices that help patients recover hearing ability.
Hearing assistance devices: If your audiologist uncovers signs of hearing impairment, they may recommend hearing assistance devices such as hearing aids, cochlear implants, and audiologic therapy to help repair or lessen hearing loss.
Balance disorders and dizziness treatment: Audiologists don't just treat hearing loss - they are also experts in balance disorders, which are often caused by conditions in the ear. Some examples of these conditions include inner ear damage, neurological disorders, and head injuries. Audiologists will perform tests to determine the cause of the balance disorders and work with you to create a treatment plan that can help improve balance. Audiologists are also trained to perform vestibular rehabilitation, a series of exercises that can help reposition the head and body.
How do audiologists treat balance disorders?
Audiologists receive special training to help assess and diagnose balance problems caused by conditions in the ear. Common symptoms of balance disorders include:
Weakness in arms or legs
Balance problems can result from a number of underlying conditions - including hearing disorders. An audiologist will first test your hearing and examine your ears to determine if they are the cause of the problem.
If your audiologist finds that an ear disorder is causing your balance problems, they may recommend vestibular rehabilitation, a program of exercises that helps patients improve balance and reduce dizziness. Some common types of vestibular rehabilitation exercises are:
Neck mobility and stretching
Vision stability training
Depending on your condition, vestibular rehabilitation can usually take somewhere between 6-8 weeks, with sessions taking place once or twice a week. Vestibular rehabilitation has been shown to be very effective in reducing dizziness and correcting balance problems.
Should I see a doctor in-person or online?
It depends. Telehealth platforms like Sesame make it easier than ever to see a doctor online from the comfort of your home through virtual visits. These are real-time video chats with doctors and providers that are used to address symptoms, discuss prescriptions, and screen for health care conditions. Telehealth (also known as telemedicine) is a convenient way to see a health care provider without requiring the commute and waiting rooms of office visits.
In-person visits, however, are vital health services. Certain conditions and specialty care services cannot be diagnosed or performed via a telehealth visit. Lab testing, for instance, often requires an in-person appointment at a doctor's office. Similarly, some physical exams, chronic condition consultations, and urgent care needs require in-person care. Some patients feel more comfortable receiving their care through in-person doctor visits, and many telehealth services require in-person visits before a condition can be definitively diagnosed.
Health care marketplaces like Sesame offer both in-person and virtual care options. If you're unsure whether or not you need to see a provider face-to-face, we recommend that you book a video doctor visit to discuss your concerns and talk through any symptoms you may be experiencing. If an in-person doctor appointment is required, you can easily book a visit through Sesame's scheduling platform.
How does booking care on Sesame work?
Sesame makes it easier than ever to find and pay doctors online directly - allowing you to book an in-person or telehealth appointment in less than two minutes. To get care today, follow these easy steps:
Search for telehealth or in-person appointments by specialty, condition, or provider
Choose a provider at a price and time that work for you.
Pay for your appointment online, up front.
Before your appointment begins, complete a brief medical history form.
If you’re seeing a doctor online, click the link sent to your email to join a secure online telehealth appointment. If you’re seeing a doctor in person, go to their office at the time of your appointment.
If you are prescribed medication and choose medication delivery, it is usually delivered to your home within 2-3 business days. Otherwise, you can select a local pharmacy often with same-day pick-up. Providers on Sesame can prescribe anything deemed medically appropriate, except for the limited set of controlled substances (as defined under the Controlled Substances Act).
What is telehealth?
Telemedicine (also sometimes called "telehealth") is a form of virtual care that healthcare professionals offer patients looking for efficient, flexible care. With telemedicine, you can speak with a doctor about your symptoms and work to develop a treatment plan that's right for you - without the hassle of having to drive to different doctors' offices or navigate confusing insurance copays. If you've already seen a doctor and need a second opinion or more clarity on your condition, you can schedule a quick and easy telemedicine appointment to get your questions answered on your own time.
What is a telehealth appointment?
Telehealth appointments also called telemedicine are medical visits that take place over face-to-face real-time video with fully licensed medical professionals including doctors or nurse practitioners.
What types of telehealth care can I book through Sesame?
It is up to the provider to determine what services they offer through a virtual appointment. Examples of care you can find on marketplaces like Sesame include:
Urgent care (for conditions such as rashes, sore throat, migraines, UTIs, and more)
Sexual health consultations
Mental health consultations
Chronic condition management
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, do not use telehealth. Instead, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room immediately.
What are the benefits of telehealth and online doctor visits?
Over the past few years, telehealth has transformed the healthcare landscape giving patients better access to quality doctors and providers. Still, some may be unfamiliar with telehealth and its benefits.
In the simplest terms, telehealth is a means of managing your health with the use of digital platforms, video, and virtual consults with online doctors and providers. This includes:
- Virtual appointments: the ability to see your doctor virtually with video consultations. This is perfect for both new patients and those with ongoing appointments that don’t require an in-person visit. Despite what you may have heard, many conditions can actually be treated over video, including toothaches, moles, warts, UTIs and other vaginal infections, and more.
- Correspondence between doctors: By promoting faster, more efficient means of communication, telehealth allows for doctors to better coordinate and address patient needs.
- Virtual health records: Apps, sometimes called personal health record systems (PHRs) allow for the viewing of health care records from a web-enabled device.
- Remote Monitoring: Apps that upload medical information, such as lung function, blood pressure, and blood glucose readings, so that your doctor can monitor you virtually.
How do I access my telehealth appointment?
After you book a video appointment, you will receive both an initial confirmation and a reminder via email and text.
There are three ways in which a video visit can be accessed:
Select "Join virtual appointment" from the booking confirmation email.
If you have an existing account or created one at purchase, log in at sesamecare.com, navigate to 'My appointments,' and select "Join virtual appointment."
Click the link in the text message sent to you 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time.
We suggest using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari to connect to your visit.
How do I book an online doctor appointment?
To book an online doctor visit through Sesame, visit Sesamecare.com. Use our search bar to look up the issue you may need addressed (such as "Prescription Refill", "Sore Throat", or "Urgent Care"). From there, you can browse relevant providers and our transparent prices to find the clinician or doctor that you want to see - at the price you want to pay. You can look at that provider's availability to schedule a virtual visit that works for your schedule. Finally, pay for your appointment upfront and wait for the booking confirmation email to get the link to your appointment.
How can I prepare for my telehealth appointment?
After booking your telehealth appointment on Sesame, you will receive a link to test the phone, tablet, or computer where you will speak with your provider. Sesame will send you a unique and secure webpage for you to access your telehealth appointment directly from your web browser. In the rare case that you run into any technical issues, our friendly support team is available to walk you through any challenges.
Should I use my phone, tablet, or computer for my telehealth appointment?
You can use your phone, tablet, or computer for a telehealth appointment on Sesame. Sesame works on the web through your web browser - Google Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge or Firefox. It is easy to connect in just a few seconds with a quality Sesame provider who is ready to listen to your medical concerns.
Sesame supports face to face video communications, but turning on your video is not required if this makes you uncomfortable.
Is there anything doctors on Sesame won’t treat?
Any service listed on Sesame can be treated by doctors on the platform. Any specific exclusions to an appointment can be found in the service description. Telehealth appointments will not result in a prescription for controlled substances. If you are looking for a prescription for controlled substances, you should find a local clinician with whom you can establish an in-person relationship.
Can my provider prescribe medication?
Yes, physicians on Sesame can prescribe a wide range of medications, which can be useful for infections, allergies, and other acute ailments.
Please note that they will not prescribe certain drugs, such as narcotics or medications that have been designated controlled substances through telehealth.
Otherwise, many of the prescriptions available in an office setting or urgent care can be prescribed if your clinician deems it appropriate.
Do I need health insurance to book an online doctor appointment?
Nope! Sesame connects patients directly to doctors through our easy-to-use booking platform. That means you can get great care with top-rated health care providers without involving insurance companies. Skip the costly co-pays and premiums when you book an online doctor's appointment through Sesame. Prices on Sesame are transparent, and payment is easy. In many cases, you can pay for your visit with a one-time upfront cash price - usually 60% less than what you'll find through insurance networks. So, not only are you saving money, but you're also getting the best care available from the comfort of your own home.
What is meclizine?
Meclizine (generic Antivert) is used to prevent and treat nausea, vomiting, and dizziness often caused by motion sickness. It can also be used to help prevent and treat the dizziness and lightheadedness caused by vertigo.
Motion sickness is incredibly common. It is caused by conflicting messages sent to your brain by motion-sensing parts of your body, such as your eyes, inner ears, joints, and muscles. Common activities that trigger motion sickness are riding in the car, amusement park rides, being on a boat, or flying in an airplane. The Mayo Clinic estimates that 1 out of 3 people will suffer from motion sickness at some point in their life.
Vertigo is a symptom, not a condition, of an inner ear problem (such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). Vertigo can make you feel off-balance or like the world is spinning around you. These feelings can last from a few minutes to a few hours.
What is meclizine used to treat?
Meclizine is used to prevent and treat the symptoms of motion sickness and vertigo.
How does meclizine work?
Meclizine is in the class of medicines called antihistamines. It is also sometimes called an antiemetic. Antihistamines help treat motion sickness and vertigo by blocking the signals sent to your brain that would cause you to be nauseous, dizzy, or need to vomit. Meclizine also has an anticholinergic action- it blocks a signal sent by your cells that may lead you to need to vomit. The combination of the antihistamine and anticholinergic effects reduces the contact of the vestibular system (structure in your ear that communicates with the brain about sensory information and spatial orientation) with the part of your brain that controls vomiting.
How long does it take for meclizine to work?
If you’re taking meclizine for motion sickness, it is recommended you take it an hour before the activity that may cause you to feel sick - like riding in a car or on a boat.
What are common side effects of meclizine?
While adverse reactions to Meclizine are uncommon, some patients who take the drug may experience mild side effects, including:
If any of these side effects are serious or do not go away, tell your doctor.
On rare occasions, patients have reported blurred vision or allergic reactions after taking Meclizine. If any serious adverse reactions occur, talk to your doctor immediately.
To reduce your risk of side effects, you should not take Meclizine with alcohol.
This is not a complete list of Meclizine’s side effects. For more information on advice effects associated with Meclizine, please visit the National Institutes of Health’s DailyMed webpage.
Can I get meclizine online?
Yes! Talk to a provider on Sesame and get your online doctor prescription or refill ordered right away for fast and convenient pickup from a pharmacy of your choice.
Note that all prescriptions are at the discretion of your clinician.