Its Both An Acute And Chronic Problem
Perhaps the biggest issue of all is that the anxiety creates a negative feedback loop.
The dizziness and vertigo cause the initial feeling of panic and anxiety, which in turn causes the vertigo and dizziness to worsen and happen more frequently. This only causes more anxiety, at which point the vicious cycle repeats.
In a lot of ways, the panic and anxiety experienced during acute vertigo or dizziness is like throwing gasoline on a fire. It multiplies your suffering at the height of an already horrible experience, while also worsening your symptoms on an ongoing basis.
Fortunately, its not all bad news.
Because the balance issues and anxiety are so closely intertwined, if you work to get your anxiety under control, the severity of your dizziness, vertigo, and other symptoms should improve as well. At the very least, you will be able to cope a lot more effectively.
The best strategy is to immediately start taking steps to reduce your anxiety.
So to help you get started, Ive put together a list of strategies that have helped me manage my own anxiety-related Menieres disease, a vestibular disorder Ive lived with for nearly a decade.
Some of the strategies are best used during acute episodes of dizziness or vertigo, while others are meant to bring overall stress and anxiety levels down throughout your life.
What To Do During A Vertigo Attack
Elrakhawy recognizes how scary of a situation it can be, especially if it’s your first time experiencing it. Here’s how he advises handling a vertigo attack:
From there, “a follow up with a doctor to evaluate the cause of the attack is critical, to try to avoid a similar event in the future or to mitigate it,” says Elrakhawy.
Stop Dizziness Caused By Anxiety: 7 Science
Dizziness is commonly experienced by everyone worldwide. You might remember feeling it for the first time as a child after being spun around too fast on a merry-go-round. You could also experience dizziness after standing up too fast.
While everyone experiences dizziness differently, it generally describes the feeling when youre unsteady on your feet, feeling faint or woozy, or feeling as though the world is spinning around you.
Interestingly, people who suffer from anxiety are more likely to experience dizziness. A study of 1,287 participants¹ in Germany found that of the 15.8% of the group who experienced dizziness, over one-quarter of them had symptoms of at least one type of anxiety.
For some people, dizziness can get so bad it causes fainting, which increases the chances of injury. Fainting might be a result of blood pressure dropping, which can come from experiencing something fearful like intense pain, the sight of blood, or when the body undergoes physical stress.
You May Like: Can Stress Affect Your Heart
Seek Targeted Nutritional Support
Supplements like ginkgo, antioxidants, and omega-3s can be helpful since they increase blood flow to the brain, says Horowitz. Vitamin D can be a helpful option, as well. She also recommends opting for whole foods and steering clear of anything that can further contribute to inflammation, like fried or highly processed foods, alcohol, or caffeine. Because your inner ear maintains a strong balance of sodium, potassium, and chloride, she says it’s important to keep your sodium intake low and ensure proper hydration.
Persistent Vertigo And A Natural Care Option
If you have tried many vertigo solutions, but none helped you find long-term relief and comfort, dont be frustrated. Medication may work, but only temporarily, and they only help with some of the symptoms. Still, vertigo would remain in many cases. It stays because the underlying cause of the problem is not yet solved. Perhaps, you can be a candidate for upper cervical chiropractic care.
Upper cervical chiropractors intimately understand the relationship between the upper necks bones and the bodys balance system. Any misalignment in the atlas and axis vertebrae can place stress and pressure on the brainstem, causing malfunction and sending of false signals to the brain about your bodys position. As a result, these fake messages tell the brain that the body is in motion even when it is not. Thus, vertigo becomes the result.
Upper cervical chiropractors use a method of examining and adjusting the vertebrae of the upper cervical spine. We focus on the axis and atlas vertebrae. We also use heat-sensitive instrumentation, neurological tests, and other relevant means to detect and correct misalignments. Our technique precisely and naturally encourages the bones to move back into place with gentle accuracy. The success of our procedure is long-lasting.
Numerous vertigo patients experienced significant improvements in their vertigo symptoms with the help of upper cervical chiropractic care. Some even see their vertigo completely go away for good.
Don’t Miss: What’s Good For Stress Headaches
Why Do People Get Vertigo
Around 90 per cent of vertigo cases are due to one of the following three conditions:
- Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo âBPPV occurs when when tiny calcium carbonate crystals break free from their normal location and collect inside the tubes of the inner ear. This is particularly problematic because your inner ear sends signals to the brain and body about head movements and which in turn helps us balance. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo and typically results in short episodes that last anything from a few seconds to a few minutes. There is no known reason why you may suffer from BPPV although age may be a factor.
- Labyrinthitis or vestibular neuritisâ an inner ear problem in which swelling and irritation occurs, usually due to a viral infection. This affects the inner earâs ability to help the body sense balance. For these sufferers, vertigo can come on very suddenly and may go hand in hand with hearing loss.
- MeniereÃ¢s diseaseâ this is caused by excess fluid building up in the inner ear and the subsequent changes to pressure in the ear resulting in inflammation. People with MeniereÃ¢s disease often experience episodes of vertigo that are more intense and longer lasting than in the previous causes. It can also bring on a ringing in the ears , blocked ears and hearing loss. Meniereâs does not have a known cause but, as with labrynthitis, there is a link to viral infections in the inner ear, as well as allergies and head injuries and genetic conditions.
How To Prevent Vertigo Brought On By Stress
When we are stressed or anxious we often take shallow breaths or hyperventilate, which interferes with the supply of oxygen to the brain and can result in vertigo symptoms. To reduce feelings of stress and anxiety, establishing the cause of key. By taking control of the situation, having a good emotional support network around you and trying out tried and tested stress-busters you can help ease those feelings.
Taking some âme timeâ is vital to provide much needed relaxation and for body and mind to recoup from busy days. Here on Yours app, we showcase hours of mindful meditations you can dip in and out of depending on your mood which are proven to relax and calm your mind. Or why not drift off to sleep one of our soothing sleep stories read by a range of different voices?
Exercise is proven way to clear your head and help blood flow and endorphins flow around the body. Whether itâs a 15-minute brisk walk around the block to your favourite songs, a team sport with friends or practising the power of yoga with one of Yours appâs expert yoga masters, an active session which gets your heart rate up and blood pumping is guaranteed to make you feel calmer and more balanced.
Recommended Reading: What Does Stress Do To The Human Body
How To Stop Dizziness Caused By Anxiety
As I mentioned earlier, anxiety can cause dizziness in 4 different ways:
- as a result of adrenaline released during a panic attack
- as a result of disorientation and confusion during severe anxiety
- as a result of visual disturbances
- as a result of incorrect breathing
The first 3 causes are out of your control. Once anxiety gets bad enough to cause panic attacks, disorientation, or visual disturbances, the dizziness will almost always follow, and by that time its too late to stop. So you just have to wait for it to pass.
Thats the bad news.
But the good news is that dizziness caused by anxiety is almost always a result of the 4th cause: the incorrect breathing. Thats something you have the power to change.
There are 2 problems with the way you breathe when youre anxious:
- you breathe too quickly
- you breathe too shallowly
Breathing too quickly is a very common problem with anxiety, and at its extreme becomes full-blown hyperventilation.
Breathing too shallowly is also a common problem with anxiety, but its one that most people arent aware of. Breathing too shallowly means you dont take deep, full breaths. Instead, you take short, quick breaths.
The result of both of these breathing problems is that your levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide become imbalanced, and either too much or too little oxygen ends up in your system.
And that means youll probably feel dizzy.
There are 2 simple techniques you can use to overcome these breathing problems that lead to dizziness:
The Significance Of This Study On Chronic Subjective Dizziness
Anxiety Disorder and Chronic Subjective Dizziness connection proven
The idea that Anxiety Disorders or migraines are associated with Chronic Subjective Dizziness is not new. What is new is a large study lasting for a long time that definitively proves the connection. Previously, doctors could go on hunches, but did not have anything definitive to work with. Staab says,
Often, doctors evaluate patients like this for inner-ear problems, treat them, and then if treatment fails, just assume its psychogenic . Now we can tell patients that this is not a mystery. We can explain just what causes their symptoms.
You May Like: Can Stress Cause Eczema To Flare Up
Long Term Dizziness And Vertigo Solutions
While anxiety doesnt cause vertigo, you are likely to experience anxiety as a result of vertigo. Furthermore, your anxiety can make your vertigo worse. A great way to reduce your likelihood of experiencing dizziness and associated symptoms is to reduce your anxiety. But to do that, you need to find ways of countering the hyperventilation that accompanies your anxiety. One way of doing this is through the breathing exercise that we have discussed in this article.
Was this article helpful?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
It is the most prevalent vestibular condition, and this happens when there is an otoconia buildup in the canals of your inner ear. If they transfer to where they should not belong, it will cause a sensation of movement.
That signal is then relayed to the brain and would result in a vertigo attack. BPPV can occur suddenly, at any time, and for no apparent reasons. This condition happens among those who experienced a head or neck trauma or injury.
Also Check: What Are The Side Effects Of Stress
Stress Anxiety And Vertigo
During periods of stress, the body releases elevated levels of certain hormones, including cortisol. This increase in cortisol can negatively impact the transmission of neural information from the vestibular system to the brain. While its not definitively known why this occurs, its believed that the hormones disrupt ion channels in your nerves and neurotransmitters in the brain. Along with cortisol, your body releases other chemicals such as histamine and neurosteroids when you experience stress. These may indirectly impair neurotransmission between your vestibular system and your brain.
In addition to periods of stress, many people experience chronic anxiety and related disorders. When this occurs and the bodys level of cortisol and stress hormones is elevated for an extended period of time, it can have an even greater impact on the vestibular system. In past studies, those with diagnosed anxiety disorders were shown to have an increased risk of developing BPPV when compared to those without anxiety disorders.
Some people with anxiety report experiencing sudden vertigo when faced with a trigger for their anxiety. For example, somebody who suffers from social anxiety may experience dizziness upon being forced into a crowded room.
Other Causes Of Sudden Vertigo While Driving
BVD is not the only cause of driving vertigo. Many people experience dizziness as a symptom of acrophoba, AKA the fear of heights.
This height vertigo is not technically vertigo, even though its often called that. True vertigo only has medical causes. Causes of vertigo like acrophobia and claustrophobia are psychological in nature, not medical.
Effective treatment for psychological vertigo like fear of heights includes:
- Relaxation You can cope with some stressors on your own via deep breathing and mindfulness techniques. Hypnosis for driving anxiety is also an effective treatment. Theres a lot of self-help hypnosis sessions available at
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT is a short-term form of psychotherapy. Its considered the most effective therapy at overcoming anxiety-induced vertigo.
- Medication Anxiety medication is sometimes appropriate for relief of vertigo. Only take medication under the care of a prescribing healthcare professional.
- Exposure Therapy The concept in exposure therapy is that confronting your fear is the best way to get over it. Exposure therapy includes gradual, increasing levels of exposure to the causes of your anxiety. Over time, this decreases your sensitivity to them.
Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Stress And Depression While Pregnant
What Tests Will Be Done To Diagnose Vertigo
Vertigo can be diagnosed with tests performed by your healthcare provider. These may include:
- Fukuda-Unterbergers test: Youll be asked to march in place for 30 seconds with your eyes closed. If you rotate or lean to one side, it could mean that you have a problem with your inner ear labyrinth. This could result in vertigo.
- Rombergs test: For this assessment, youll be asked to close your eyes while standing with your feet together and your arms to your side. If you feel unbalanced or unsteady, it could mean that you have an issue with your central nervous system.
- Head impulse test: For this test, your provider will gently move your head to each side while you focus on a stationary target . The clinician will be checking to see how the inner ear balance system is working to help control your eye movements while your head is in motion.
- Vestibular test battery: This includes several different tests to help identify an inner ear problem. Goggles are placed over the eyes to monitor eye movement responses while moving your eyes to follow a target, moving your head and body, and even after warm and cool water are put into the ear canal.
In addition to the tests outlined above, your healthcare provider may request radiographs. These may include:
Tracking Your Personal Vertigo Triggers
It is vital to be aware of your specific triggers so you can avoid them whenever possible. Each person has a unique set of vertigo triggers. If you know what triggers yours, then you can be ready for them.
Doctors would highly advise that you keep track of your vertigo symptoms and essential things that you can record. They would recommend that you keep a diary to document your daily activities each time a vertigo attack commences. It can help you immensely in finding out your personal triggers. Once you know what they are, you can stay away from them as much as you can to avoid vertigo attacks from occurring.
Unfortunately, vertigo can affect your daily life quality, causing you to lose out on events or activities that you love doing. It would then be in your best interest to consult with your family doctor as a precaution before things get worse.
You May Like: How To Reduce Stress And Anxiety During Exams
Why Do I Get Dizzy When I Am Nervous
Causes of Dizziness. Assuming anxiety is causing your dizziness, there are several possible causes: Hyperventilation This is the most common cause. It often occurs during an anxiety or panic attack, but it can occur at any point when you have anxiety. Hyperventilation is usually the result of breathing too quickly,
Is Anxiety Associated With Vertigo
Yes, vertigo causes extreme anxiety in most people. Anxiety, by itself, does not produce vertigo. However, in association with conditions that do produce vertigo, anxiety can make the vertigo much worse. People with certain anxiety disorders such as panic attacks can sometimes also experience vertigo.
You May Like: Can You Sue For Workplace Stress
In What Manner Is Vertigo Related To Stress
The following are the three common ways in which vertigo can be linked to ones emotional state such as stress:
- Your balance organs causes vertigo and balance difficulties, which triggers emotional problems like anxiety and depression.
- Your balance organs cause dizziness and balance difficulties, which worsen an already existing emotional condition or stress.
- You have an already existing emotional condition, which causes symptoms of vertigo and imbalance.
Other Causes Of Vertigo
Vertigo has a variety of triggers, some more common than others. Some of the causes we see more frequently are:
- Inner ear dysfunction: Infections, fluid buildup and other problems in the inner ear cause balance issues.
- Head and ear injuries: Physical trauma can cause inner ear disorders.
- Migraines: In addition to their sensitivity to light and noise, people with migraines may experience vertigo.
- Insufficient blood flow: Vertigo can occur when the arteries that carry blood to the base of your brain supply less blood.
Your vertigos cause determines the treatment you need. Some kinds of vertigo, like benign paroxysmal positional vertigo , can go away on their own. Other conditions, like Ménières disease, require management techniques or surgery.
Read Also: How To Keep Stress Under Control