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SA Falls and Fall Injury Prevention
FACT SHEET 4

DIZZINESS 
AND 
BALANCE

What is dizziness?
Dizziness is a word used to describe 
feeling faint or lightheaded, weak, woozy 
or unsteady. Dizziness that makes you 
feel like the world is spinning or moving is 
called vertigo.

What can you do?
Rather than risk a fall, talk to your doctor  
or health professional about your 
dizziness. In the meantime:

 &gt; change positions slowly, and wait until 
you are balanced before walking

 &gt; avoid quick or sudden turns
 &gt; if you do suddenly feel dizzy, stop what 

you are doing and sit down if able, until 
it passes

 &gt; make sure you are drinking enough 
fluid (not including alcohol)   at least  
6 large cups (250ml / 8 fluid ounces)  
a day unless your doctor says 
something different

 &gt; be careful when you bend your head 
back, or look up

 &gt; consider using a walking aid   ask a 
physiotherapist about the best type to  
suit you.

Staying steady on your feet
Do you often feel dizzy? Being steady and safe is important for keeping your balance 
and staying independent.
There are many reasons why people feel dizzy. Doctors can work out the causes, and 
dizziness can be easily treated in many cases.



For more information 
Adelaide area: Call 1300 0 FALLS (1300 0 32557) for 
information about falls prevention services that are close to you.

Country SA: Please contact your local health service for 
information about services close to you. You can also email the 
Country Health Falls Prevention coordinator at  
Health.CHSAFallsPreventionProject@sa.gov.au

sahealth.sa.gov.au/falls 
Public I1-A1 

  Department for Health and Wellbeing, Government of South Australia.  
All rights reserved. FIS: 20026.4-4 February 2020.

Some types of dizziness are a sign 
of a serious medical condition.
Seek urgent medical help if dizziness is 
associated with:

 &gt; pain, pressure, heaviness or tightness 
in the chest, shoulders, neck, arms, 
jaw, or back

 &gt; feeling sick, cold sweat, shortness  
of breath

 &gt; feeling numb or weak in the face,  
arm or leg

 &gt; trouble talking, understanding or 
swallowing

 &gt; blurred or poor vision in one or  
both eyes

 &gt; loss of balance or unexplained falls
 &gt; confusion or becoming unconscious.

(National Stroke Foundation 2009  
and National Heart Foundation of 
Australia 2010)

Who can help?
 &gt; Emergencies call 000
 &gt; Talk with your doctor about any 

concerns you have about dizziness 
or balance. Your doctor can refer you 
to other health professionals or any 
services you may be eligible for.

 &gt; Neurological physiotherapists 
specialise in treating dizziness.

 &gt; To find a physiotherapist (no 
referral needed) near you, phone 
the Australian Physiotherapy 
Association on 1300 306 622    
(toll free) or Commonwealth Respite 
and Carelink Centre: phone  
1800 052 222 (toll free)

 &gt; Pharmacists   talk with your 
pharmacist about any concerns  
about medicines.

This document has been reviewed and  
endorsed by SA Health PwC&amp;CAG* for  
consumers and the community, March 2015.
*SA Health Partnering with Consumers and Community Advisory Group

https://creativecommons.org/licenses





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