Can stress cause vertigo? (+13 Ways to treat)

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Page last updated: 12/11/2022

The current blogpost will be discussing if stress can cause vertigo. We will also be explaining how you can treat the symptoms of vertigo which is caused by stress or daily stress. Vertigo refers to a dizzy feeling which is often caused by a problem in the inner-ear.

Can stress cause vertigo?

Yes, stress can cause vertigo. While vertigo is usually caused by some problem in the inner ear of the person which can lead to issues in balancing, it can also be triggered or set-off by stress or chronic stress.

This happens because of a stress cycle that occurs due to the vertigo. When a person experiences vertigo, it can activate the stress hormones of the person. When this occurs frequently, stress can in turn stimulate feelings of vertigo in the person.

How to treat vertigo caused by stress?

Vertigo which is caused or triggered off by stress can be treated through numerous ways. The best ways to treat vertigo caused by stress have been discussed in the following section of the article,

Medical treatment for the vertigo

The first and most direct thing that you can do is to simply get the medical treatment for the vertigo. Often, vertigo goes away on its own but if it does not go away even after an extended period of time, it may be wise to seek medical treatment.

Medical professionals would often aim at treating the actual cause of the vertigo. In case, the cause of the vertigo is an inner-ear infection, your doctor may advise you to take steroids or even antibiotics for this.

Another way to go is through surgery which might be best in the case of some traumatic brain injury. Since the brain is highly pliable, you might also be recommended to undergo vestibular rehabilitation so that your balance is taken over by other senses in your body.

Relaxation techniques

Since stress-related vertigo is caused because of a great deal of daily stress, you can practice relaxation techniques every day to help in this issue. While this may not immediately create a positive change in your vertigo symptoms, with time they can reduce your symptoms.

You can choose anything among the many relaxation techniques, including progressive muscle relaxation, body scanning techniques or even deep breathing techniques. The trick is to identify your trigger factors so that you can use these techniques as coping strategies.

Meditation and mindfulness

Apart from relaxation techniques like deep breathing, you can also use meditation to reduce your stress levels. Some people have a misconception that meditation can actually increase the amount of stress that a person experiences since they might overthink about it.

But meditation requires you to empty your thoughts and focus on one particular thing other than your problems. You can also try mindfulness activities which help you cruise back into the present instead of worrying about the future.

Healthy diet and supplements

Following a healthy diet can also be great if you are dealing with vertigo caused by stress. A great thumb-rule in this case is to simply increase the number of colors on your plate so that you are getting the right mix of nutrients.

You can also consult a dietitian or a nutritionist to make sure that you are eating a healthy diet. When your body gets the right balance of nutrients, your stress-levels automatically become lower leading to less bouts of vertigo.

Regular physical exercise

Physical exercise can be great for stress-induced vertigo since cardio and agility training can further decrease your stress levels. However, vertigo can lead to many balance problems so you need to go slow.

Physical exercises which are slow-moving and focus on strength and balance like walking, in-position strength exercises and such can definitely help. You can also try vertigo-specific exercises like Brandt-Daroff routines to help your vertigo and your physique.

Cognitive retraining

A lot of time stress can build up way faster than expected because of the way thoughts are built. When you train your thoughts to think of the positives more than the negatives, this can also help in reducing stress, therefore eliminating trigger factors for vertigo.

Cognitive retraining can be done through CBT or Cognitive Therapy through a mental health professional. But there are many free workbooks which can also help in this matter. Cognitive retraining can help you weed out the false beliefs and focus on uplifting truth.

Removing stress-factors from life

Since daily stress can directly cause vertigo, another helpful thing can be to simply remove the stress factors from your life. Many times, holding on to stress factors thinking that they are helping us, even if they do minimally, can lead to more problems than profit.

For instance, if you are staying in a toxic relationship because you fear being alone, it may be wiser to simply eliminate this big stress factor so that you enjoy more freedom and less stress. The same goes for toxic work environments, toxic friends, etc.

Practicing sleep-hygiene

Having a healthy amount of sleep every day is also essential for keeping stress levels low, which is very important if your vertigo is often caused by stress. If you are finding it hard to get quality sleep, you can start practicing sleep hygiene.

Sleep hygiene is basically a set of rules that you can follow to make sure that you are getting the right quality and quantity of sleep. For instance, installing black-out curtains to reduce the amount of light in the room, or indulging in a warm-bath before bedtime.

Using music therapy

Music is one of the most powerful forces on the planet today and can be used to put you in different moods easily, including a relaxed state. In fact, many mental health professionals heavily lean on music in their therapy sessions to help their clients relax.

You can also use the power of music to bring a relaxed feeling in case you notice that you are getting stressed. The music that you choose does not need to be specific. Some people go for classical music, others go for soft rock. Choose anything that makes your mood light.

Talking to someone about it

Talking to someone about your stress and other issues can also definitely help in reducing the trigger factors for your vertigo. If you are feeling embarrassed by your vertigo itself, you can even join a support group for this condition.

The pluses of joining a support group for your vertigo include having emotional support from other people and also learning coping strategies to combat this issue. You can also talk about this to a trusted friend or even a professional if you feel like it.

Using art therapy

Art therapy can also be great for reducing stress, and in turn can help you combat your vertigo. Art therapy not just involves creating art but also looking at art and relishing the beautiful strokes and textures on canvas and other mediums.

Making lifestyle changes

Small lifestyle changes can also help you reduce your stress levels and can even help you combat your vertigo. For example, including hand railings in your bathroom can make this space much safer for you. Using a Reacher to grab far-off items can also help you with the symptoms.

Going to therapy

If you find that your stress levels are not going down despite the many actions that you have undertaken, you can definitely go to see a therapist. Mental health professionals can help you identify the source of your stress and also teach you coping strategies for the same.

Conclusion 

The current blogpost has discussed if stress can cause vertigo. We have also explained how you can treat the symptoms of vertigo which is caused by stress or daily stress.

If you like this blogpost, please leave your comments and questions in the space below.

Citations

https://www.ijorl.com/index.php/ijorl/article/view/1386
https://dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/psych/psych.htm
https://www.webmd.com/brain/best-exercises-for-vertigo
https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/ears-nose-and-throat/vertigo
https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12888-016-0950-2
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022399901002082
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0168803
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303790377_Perceived_stress_in_Patients_with_vertigo