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What causes vertigo when having suffering from anxiety?

Aug 2013
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Answered by

ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1996
Answered : 1025 Questions
So I had a bad bout of vertigo the other night around 2am. I woke up almost feel over but caught myself. Continued to feel dizzy after and felt better lying down. I have no other problems, blood pressure is normal so is glucose levels and blood work thyroid ok, no fever (got a physical back in september). I started feeling this off balance feeling more this past sunday while watching football. It seemed to have gotten worse because I also suffer from panic disorder and GAD. I have been homebound agoraphobic since october after a very bad panic attack while driving on the freeway. The vertigo is also worse when I'm around people as opposed to being alone at home. I take no medications for my disorders, only vitamins B-complex and Inositol (500mg twice a day). I was told my severe anxiety make the vertigo feel worse than it is. I've not fallen or passed out due to it. But it's made the last couple of days extremely hard for me. Is it BPPV? I also feel more dizzy when theres more people in this house as opposed to being alone. Could it be anxiety messing with something in my inner ear to cause this? Please help!
Posted Fri, 31 Jan 2014 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 2 hours later
Brief Answer: could be BPPV Detailed Answer: Hello and welcome to health care magic, I am Dr Sriram Nathan an ENT surgeon who has been successfully treating thousands of patients with giddiness over the years. By reading into your symptoms I would assume that a peripheral vestibular problem is the cause of your giddiness. This essentially means that you have an inner ear cause of vertigo and this is quite common so do not worry. Also like you rightly mentioned, anxiety can increase the giddiness to very severe levels so you must reduce your stress. At the offset let me assure you that in spite of complex symptoms and you feeling very giddy, you shall definitely feel better in a matter of time. You need to understand that this is a common cause of giddiness and is treatable and curable so do not worry. You need to just reduce stress and consider these: -Avoid any sudden movements and do not look up or bend down suddenly -Take lots of water and reduce your salt intake immediately. -I would routinely start my patients on tablet called betahistine 48 mg for the control of your giddiness especially in the acute phase. Your doctor will know about this. -Do not constantly doing the same activity which increases the chance of you getting giddiness (in this case your watching football). You must take constant breaks in between. -While climbing stairs you need to hold the side rails for support -As far as giddiness concerned, the body and the brain will usually get adapted to the problem and recover in a time period ranging from two weeks to two months. During this time you must give maximum support to your brain to recover. This can be in terms mental exercise and slow and steady movements. -Do not however take complete bed rest as it will hamper the fast recovery. -Since you have mentioned that being around people causes more giddiness, it is understood that you have social phobia and severe anxiety. In either case, both these conditions can increase your giddiness. You need to reduce stress and just do not worry about the crowd. If needed you can ask for a psychiatric consult to face your phobia. -Take a relaxation technique like yoga or meditation and make sure you continue doing that even afterwards Wait for some time for the acute episode to subside and keep your stress (both physical and mental) under control and am sure you will recover soon If however your symptoms are getting worse and not getting controlled then you must consult both an ENT surgeon and a neurologist who can better help you out with your problem. Hope you have a clearer picture on your problem and solution and I will be more than happy to help you out if you have any more doubts regards and get well soon Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes vertigo when having suffering from anxiety? 2 hours later
Also, what position should i sleep in? Flat back with one pillow on my head? Thank you again!
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 6 minutes later
Brief Answer: be comfortable Detailed Answer: Hello again, You are welcome I would generally advice to lie straight and not turn to either side so lying flat with a comfortable pillow is fine. But since your vertigo is not positional as I recall then you can actually turn over once in a while. Just make sure you are rested and not in any strain when you do so. If however on turning to any one side you feel odd or giddy then remain straight. While getting up from bed, get up very very slowly and steadily and not instantly or suddenly as it may elicit an episode of giddiness. Hope this helps regards Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes vertigo when having suffering from anxiety? 34 hours later
I wake up in the morning very groggy and off balance now. When I have to talk to someone, I feel like I'm tilting to the side or forward like I'm going to fall. Is this part of the vertigo of BPPV? thank you!
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 22 minutes later
Brief Answer: could be Detailed Answer: Hello again, What you described is a classic symptom OF BPPV though it is common in many other conditions. Like I mentioned before, whenever you get up, you should do it very slowly and then the giddiness will be less or controlled. In any case wait for a couple of weeks and if you not feel better then consult an ENT and a neurologist. Hope this helps and wish you a speedy recovery Regards Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes vertigo when having suffering from anxiety? 15 minutes later
what should I do about supplements? which ones can i take to help with the vertigo?I took valerian root pill to help sleep last night, it made me sleepy. any others? thank you!
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 17 minutes later
hello again, yes it can make you tired and sleepy! try to avoid the same regards Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes vertigo when having suffering from anxiety? 9 minutes later
So avoid valerian root? What supplements can i take to help make the veritgo less severe? Thank you again!
Answered by Dr. Sriram Nathan 9 hours later
hello again, Yes you must avoid valerian root as it has sedative properties. You can take lots of green leafy vegetables and fruits and multivitamin supplements with zinc like zincovit. You doctor will know about this. Reduce salt intake and do not strain Hope this helps regards Dr Sriram Nathan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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