Falls and Older Adults

Frequently Asked Questions

33. Why do I sometimes feel dizzy when I stand up?

Dizziness might be caused by postural hypotension -- a drop in blood pressure when you stand up. This condition might result from a drop in blood volume, dehydration, or certain medications. It might also be linked to diabetes, Parkinson's disease, or an infection.

Talk with your doctor if you sometimes feel dizzy when you stand up. The doctor or a nurse can check your blood pressure to find out if you have postural hypotension. Some people with postural hypotension do not feel dizzy so it is important to ask your doctor or nurse to check your blood pressure while you are lying and standing. They can also suggest ways to avoid the dizziness that could result in a fall. For instance, the doctor may suggest drinking more water or changing some of your medicine doses. There may also be other reasons for your dizziness which your doctor can help you identify.

Also, always stand up slowly after eating, lying down, or resting. Getting up too quickly can cause your blood pressure to drop.

Dizziness can also be caused by vestibular dysfunction -- inner ear problems that are caused by many conditions that are common in older adults. The remedy is the same for drops in blood pressure: get up slowly, have a stable object to hold onto, and get balanced before trying to walk.