Can stress cause vertigo?

Yes, stress can contribute to or exacerbate symptoms of vertigo. Stress-induced vertigo is often associated with a condition known as “vestibular migraine” or “psychogenic dizziness.” Here’s how stress can play a role in vertigo:

1. Vestibular Migraine:

Stress is a common trigger for migraines, and some individuals experience vestibular symptoms, including vertigo, as part of their migraine attacks. This type of vertigo is often referred to as vestibular migraine and may be accompanied by other migraine symptoms, such as headache, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.

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2. Psychogenic Dizziness:

Stress, anxiety, and emotional factors can lead to dizziness and unsteadiness, sometimes referred to as psychogenic dizziness. The sensations may mimic vertigo, even though they don’t result from a specific inner ear or balance system dysfunction.

3. Exacerbation of Underlying Conditions:

Stress can exacerbate existing vestibular disorders, such as benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), Meniere’s disease, or labyrinthitis. When stress triggers or worsens the underlying condition, it can lead to vertigo episodes.

It’s important to note that while stress can be a contributing factor to vertigo, it is often not the sole cause. Underlying medical conditions or other factors can also be at play. If you experience recurrent or severe vertigo episodes, especially if they are triggered or worsened by stress, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional for a proper evaluation. A healthcare provider can help determine the specific cause of your vertigo and develop an appropriate treatment plan, which may include stress management techniques if stress is a significant factor.

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