January 30, 2022

Cardiac Causes of Dizziness

Wellue 24 hour EKG Recorder

Patients often make an appointment to see an ENT doctor for any type of dizzy complaint. Although a large percentage of such patients end up having some type of inner ear cause of dizziness, it is not uncommon that a person's imbalance may end up being due to a heart problem.

Some key information that suggests a possible cardiac (rather than inner ear) cause of dizziness include:

• dizziness described as light-headedness, fainting

• intermittent

• can occur even when totally still

• heart palpitations present

• short of breath symptoms may be present

Examples of cardiac conditions causing dizziness include paroxysmal tachycardia and POTS (Postural Tachycardia Syndrome). As an aside, drugs to treat cardiac conditions may also have side effects of causing dizziness. The problem with cardiac causes of dizziness is due to its intermittent nature which makes catching an incident difficult... and more often then not, when you see a doctor and get an EKG done in the office that lasts for no more than 5 minutes, no symptoms occur.

Even with holter 24 hour EKG monitoring, a dizzy episode may not necessarily occur during the test period which makes the test of little value.

It is for just these particular patients where there is a high suspicion for possible cardiac cause of dizziness, but episodes occur too intermittently for a physician ordered test to be meaningful, that it may be worthwhile for a patient to purchase their own 24 hour EKG monitoring unit. Although "medical-grade" EKG devices are quite expensive, there are now consumer grade EKG devices that are much cheaper and work with a smartphone or computer... AND most importantly, provides the cardiac monitoring when you actually NEED it.

Although the most recent Apple Watch models have the ability to measure a continuous EKG, the information is not nearly as good as an EKG obtained from the chest (rather than the wrist).

Chest EKG devices that continuously measure for long durations (24+ hours) include the Wellue 24 hour EKG Recorder with AI Analysis. Available for purchase online including Amazon, users can wear this device for as long as they want (battery charge being the limiting factor, about 72 hours), as frequently as they want, until they catch an episode. With this information on hand, a visit with a cardiologist can be more productive on next steps to take.

Another similar 24 hour EKG recording is Frontier X.

Get 10% off using this link and coupon code ENT10 to purchase the EKG recorder directly from Wellue!

A sample report shown below:

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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