Sudden Dizziness While Sitting

What Is Sudden Dizziness While Sitting?

Sudden dizziness while sitting, also known as positional vertigo, is a condition characterized by a sudden onset of dizziness or a spinning sensation when changing head positions, such as sitting up from a lying position or turning the head. This sensation can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and imbalance, making it difficult to perform daily activities.

Common Causes of Sudden Dizziness While Sitting

There are several potential causes of sudden dizziness while sitting, including:

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is one of the most common causes of sudden dizziness. It occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the inner ear become dislodged and move into the semicircular canals, causing a false sense of spinning or vertigo.

Vestibular Neuritis

Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the vestibular nerve, which is responsible for transmitting balance and spatial information from the inner ear to the brain. This condition can cause sudden dizziness, vertigo, and imbalance.

Meniere’s Disease

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause sudden episodes of vertigo, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), hearing loss, and a feeling of pressure or fullness in the affected ear.


Vertigo Some individuals with migraines may experience vertigo or dizziness as a symptom, even in the absence of a headache.

Symptoms of Sudden Dizziness While Sitting

The primary symptom of sudden dizziness while sitting is a sudden onset of vertigo or a spinning sensation, which can be accompanied by:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Imbalance and difficulty walking
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)

Diagnosing Sudden Dizziness While Sitting

If you experience sudden dizziness while sitting, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Physical examination and medical history review
  • Hearing and balance tests
  • Imaging tests (e.g., CT scan or MRI) to rule out other underlying conditions

Treatment Options

The treatment for this depends on the underlying cause. Some common treatment options include:

  • Vestibular rehabilitation exercises
  • Medication (e.g., antihistamines, steroids, or motion sickness medications)
  • Lifestyle modifications (e.g., avoiding triggers, staying hydrated, and managing stress)
  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers (for BPPV)
  • Surgery (in severe or persistent cases)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does sudden dizziness while sitting last?
The duration of sudden dizziness can vary from a few seconds to several hours or days, depending on the underlying cause.

Is sudden dizziness while sitting a sign of a serious condition?
In most cases, sudden dizziness is not a sign of a serious condition, but it’s essential to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying health issues.

Can sudden dizziness while sitting be prevented?
While it’s not always possible to prevent sudden dizziness, maintaining good overall health, staying hydrated, and avoiding rapid head movements can help minimize the risk.

What should I do if I experience this?
If you experience sudden dizziness while sitting, remain still and avoid sudden movements until the sensation subsides. If the dizziness persists or is accompanied by severe symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.

About the Author

This blog post was written by the experienced team at our Burlington Physiotherapy clinic. With years of expertise in physiotherapy and rehabilitation, PhysioLinks Rehab specializes in providing comprehensive treatment plans and personalized care to help individuals overcome various conditions, including dizziness and vertigo. Their team of highly trained physiotherapists and healthcare professionals is dedicated to helping patients regain their mobility, improve their quality of life, and achieve their desired level of physical function.

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