Dizziness in Teenagers

An unwell young woman resting against a door
Dizziness in a teen should never be dismissed. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

The sight of a swooning teen can often be explained away by dramatics. In reality, dizziness in teenagers is not a common phenomenon. According to the Otolaryngologic Clinic of North America Review, studies performed by Boston Hospital and of emergency admissions in Scotland both showed that teens accounted for a very small percentage of the patients who complained of dizziness. And when the symptom did occur, there was a source. Dizziness is one of the key symptoms of a few underlying conditions. Thus, when a teen swoons, parents need to begin looking for the reasons behind the behavior before other symptoms begin to appear.

Diet Causes

One of the common causes of dizziness in teens is anemia, or iron deficiency, that comes from having too little red meat, green veggies and other healthy foods in a well-rounded diet. Teens are notorious for unhealthy eating and dizziness can be one sign that an unhealthy diet has compromised the teenage body. Other diet-related conditions that have dizziness as a symptom are diabetes and food poisoning. Other rare conditions also produce the symptom as well, which is why seeking medical attention is so important when such symptoms present themselves.

Other Ailments

Sometimes, dizziness can be a part of a contagious condition like a cold, flu or virus that is going around. Other ailments include concussions, ear infections and less-common ailments like heart defects and brain tumors. Parents of teens who are sick and dizzy should not jump to conclude that the teen has a serious condition. A closer look at the symptoms could reveal the common cold or food poisoning.

Other Triggers

Becoming dizzy can be triggered by mental conditions like anxiety or a more serious situation like drug use. Dizziness is a common side effect of stimulant drugs and some depressants, especially if they are being abused by the teen. Parents who have reason to believe that their teen is under the influence of drugs or alcohol should seek treatment. Because dizziness is a sign of substance abuse, the teen is likely to have been using drugs for a while before the parents discover the problem. Less serious triggers are exposure to fumes of chemicals like paint or natural gas. Some teens may become dizzy from medications that they use regularly.

Seeking Help

Make an appointment to see your family physician if your teenager begins to complain of dizziness with no likely cause. The symptom is usually a clue to a more serious condition, so a doctor is the right person to detect the cause of the symptom and to treat it.

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