Is It Normal to Feel Lightheaded Every Day?

Woman experiencing lightheadedness and dizziness

Feeling lightheaded and woozy can really throw you for a loop—it can be tough to focus when you feel like you’re going to fall or faint at any moment. If you find yourself feeling lightheaded and off-balance on a regular basis, it’s important to get to the root cause of why. It can also be helpful to know what to do when lightheadedness hits.

Here, a family medicine doctor shares the most common reasons for recurring lightheadedness, what to do when it happens and when to see a doctor about it.

Related: Feeling Dizzy? Here Are 11 Possible Reasons Why Your World Is Spinning

Reasons for Feeling Lightheaded Regularly

According to Dr. Farhat Shaikh, MD, a family medicine physician at Bliss Direct Primary Care in Frisco, Texas, there are many different reasons why someone could get lightheaded every day. One, she says, is being dehydrated. Fatigue, dizziness and feeling lightheaded are all symptoms of dehydration.

Especially in the winter, it can be easy not to drink enough water. It's recommended to drink between nine and 13 cups of water every day, depending on your age, sex and activity level. The reason why dehydration can cause lightheadedness is because it can lead to reduced blood pressure and prevent enough blood from reaching the brain.

Dr. Shaikh says that another reason for feeling lightheaded is experiencing a sudden drop in blood pressure. This can happen when standing up from a seated position or after lying down. Pregnancy, certain medications and long-term bed rest can also cause a sudden drop in blood pressure.

Related: It's More Than Just Dizziness! Here Are the Telltale Symptoms of Vertigo—and the Top Doctor-Approved Methods To Treat It

Feeling lightheaded can also be a sign of low blood sugar, Dr. Shaikh says. This happens because the brain isn’t getting enough glucose, which the brain needs for energy. People with diabetes are more likely to experience this than people who don’t have diabetes. Skipping meals and not eating enough carbohydrates can also cause blood sugar levels to plummet. It’s important not to skip meals and to get enough carbs.

Last, Dr. Shaikh says that feeling lightheaded regularly could be a side effect of medication. Though rare, she says it could also be a sign of a serious health condition, such as a heart attack or stroke.

Related: The #1 Sign You Aren't Drinking Enough Water—and How To Tell if You're *Overhydrated*

What to Do When You Feel Lightheaded and When to See a Doctor

When you feel lightheaded, Dr. Shaikh says to try sitting or lying down. Drinking some water and eating something with carbohydrates could also help. Drinking juice can also be helpful because it raises blood sugar levels, which may be low and the reason why you feel lightheaded.

“If the lightheadedness or dizziness is not improving by lying down or your balance is compromised, you should immediately visit the closest emergency department,” Dr. Shaikh says.

She adds that if dizziness is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, you should also see a doctor ASAP: neurological symptoms (such as loss of vision or double vision), slurred speech, muscle weakness, difficulty walking, headache or vomiting. “If you are a high-risk patient—older than 50 years old, have a history of stroke or have an underlying heart problem—you should also see a doctor immediately if you are feeling lightheaded,” Dr. Shaikh explains.

Once you are at the hospital, Dr. Shaikh says that you can expect the doctor to do a complete exam, including a neurological check. She says the doctor may also order additional tests and images.

Dr. Shaikh emphasizes that it’s important to take feeling lightheaded seriously; it’s not normal to feel this way. “Take any new onset of symptoms of dizziness or lightheadedness seriously and consult with your primary care provider,” she says.

Seeing a healthcare provider can help you get to the root cause of why you’re feeling lightheaded. Your doctor may recommend a dietary change that can make this very annoying symptom go away for good. Take feeling lightheaded seriously. It’s your body’s way of telling you that something is up!

Next up, here are 18 food options to eat for when you're feeling nauseous.