Dizziness in the heat

What is dizziness in the heat?

Heat dizziness is the occurrence of dizziness or a vertigo attack at elevated temperatures. Accordingly, dizziness occurs when it is hot, especially in summer. This is related to a disturbance in the blood circulation as the body tries to counteract the heat. The dizziness is often accompanied by other symptoms such as headache and nausea. People with poor circulation or the elderly are particularly affected. Accordingly, care must be taken to ensure that sufficient fluid is absorbed.

Also read the article on the topic: Dizziness and circulation


In most cases, the cause of dizziness in the heat is a dysregulation of the blood circulation. To counteract excessive heating of the body, the body begins to widen the blood vessels. This allows the heat to be dissipated better. However, this also causes blood pressure to drop and blood to flow more slowly through the body. This leads to dizziness, especially if you get up too quickly.
In addition, there is the loss of fluids and electrolytes through sweating. This is also one of the body's mechanisms for releasing heat and slowing blood flow.

You might also be interested in this topic: Causes of dizziness

Circulation / lack of water

If dizziness occurs in the heat, this is usually due to a circulatory disorder. This is generally weakened by the heat. In addition, the body tries to give off heat by sweating and widening the vessels. This affects the circulatory system, which can be particularly evident when changing body position quickly.
Furthermore, the lack of fluids is often exacerbated by inadequate drinking. Many people underestimate the amount of water they should consume to keep their circulation going. Especially in summer when it is very hot, the electrolyte and water deficiency can lead to dizziness.

Read more on the topic: Dehydration- How do you recognize a lack of fluids?


The diagnosis of dizziness in the heat can usually be made on the basis of the anamnesis, i.e. the doctor-patient conversation. The temporal relationship between the occurrence of dizziness and staying in the heat is groundbreaking. Depending on the additional symptoms, any other causes should be clarified.
It should also be checked whether the blood pressure has been set incorrectly. This can be the case in older people, for example, if a previously existing high blood pressure is too much downregulated by medication.

For more information, see: Diagnosis of vertigo

Concomitant symptoms

The appearance of dizziness in the heat may be accompanied by other symptoms. These include visual disturbances such as flickering in front of the eyes or ringing in the ears. Many people also experience headaches, nausea, or even vomit.
In addition, there is a feeling of weakness and exhaustion, as well as a strong feeling of thirst. The mouth often feels very dry as the mucous membranes lose fluid. In addition, the heat usually leads to profuse sweating, which can later become cold. Breathing can also be affected. A pronounced circulatory disorder can lead to a brief loss of consciousness.


Severe circulatory disorders can lead to loss of consciousness. This is most common in people with poor circulation, low blood pressure, or the elderly. One of the dangerous things here is an uncontrolled fall. The fainting usually only lasts a few seconds.
It is important not to leave those affected alone and try to get them into a stable position. If consciousness does not return after a short time, an emergency doctor should be called. The fainting can in rare cases or more serious causes lead to shock or circulatory failure.


The dizziness in the heat often occurs together with nausea. This is a common symptom of overloading the body and the circulatory system. In summer, this is also typically related to the excessive consumption of sweet drinks. Vomiting can also occur occasionally. Abdominal pain or a lack of appetite can also be associated with dizziness and impaired circulatory regulation.

Read more on the topic: Dizziness with nausea- that's behind it

Hot flashes

Hot flashes are common when dizziness occurs in the heat. These are caused by the body trying to prevent possible overheating. The resulting heat of the body is released by widening the vessels. This leads to a decrease in blood pressure. This causes the blood circulation to become unbalanced, which can manifest itself in hot flashes. These are usually associated with increased sweating. If the symptoms persist for a long time, cold sweats can also occur.

a headache

Headache is a common symptom of heat dizziness. They can have a wide variety of characters and are often accompanied by a feeling of weakness and fatigue. The headache is caused by decreased blood flow. This is often triggered or intensified by a lack of water.
This means that the brain and meninges are not adequately supplied with nutrients. This leads to the appearance of a headache. It is therefore always advisable to drink enough water when a headache occurs.

Read more on the topic: Dizziness and headache

Racing heart

Occasionally, dizziness in the heat can go hand in hand with racing or palpitations. The disturbance of the regulation of the blood circulation is responsible for this. By widening the vessels, the body tries to give off heat. However, this also causes the blood to sink into the arms and legs.
The heart counteracts this by increasing the heartbeat in order to get the circulation going again. The racing heart can also be a sign of excitement if the person is affected by the dizziness and becomes anxious.

Read more on the subject at: Dizziness and racing heart

Course of disease

The course of heat dizziness depends on the severity of the symptoms. If the dizziness as such is noticed early and also taken seriously, enough measures can be taken before the circulation tries harder to counteract the heat. It is therefore very important to protect yourself from the heat at an early stage, as well as absorbing fluids and electrolytes. If this does not happen in time, dizziness can lead to fainting, which can be dangerous for those affected by the fall and impaired circulation.

If you now do sport in the heat, the probability of dizziness increases rapidly. You can find detailed information on this here: Dizziness after exercise

Treatment / therapy

The treatment of dizziness in the heat should be done quickly so as not to put unnecessary strain on the circulation. It is therefore extremely important that those affected are brought out of the heat as quickly as possible and move to a cooler place. Any clothing that is too tight or too warm should be opened so that the body can cool down again without problems. For example, those affected can take a cool bath. Ice cream, cold compresses, or cool packs can also help.

An adequate intake of fluids is also very important. Often those affected do not only lack water, but also lack electrolytes. Therefore, for example, mineral water or fruit juice spritzers are particularly suitable for quickly compensating for this deficiency. Since dizziness in the heat is a sign of stress on the body, it should be listened to accordingly. Sufferers should therefore rest for some time until the symptoms subside. The circulation can also be supported by a lying position and raising the legs.

For more information, see: Therapy for vertigo

What do i do when i'm pregnant?

In pregnant women, the heat puts additional stress on the body, as the body's blood circulation generally has to do more. It is therefore advisable to always drink enough, in summer around 3 liters of water per day are recommended. You should also ensure that you have a sufficient supply of salt, as this is excreted again through sweating.
The circulation can also be supported by raising your legs. Staying too long in the blazing sun should also be avoided.

Find out more about the topic: Dizziness during pregnancy

Duration / forecast

Usually dizziness does not last long in the heat. If detected early and counteracted accordingly, the symptoms will pass after a few hours at the latest. Accordingly, the prognosis is usually very good. Some people with poor circulation are more prone to dizziness than others. General caution should be required here. If the symptoms are not noticed or ignored, more serious consequences can occur.