Can Stress Cause Vertigo? Know the Real truth behind it

Spinning world due to vertigo
Mental Health

Can Stress Cause Vertigo? Know the Real truth behind it

Nov 09, 2022

Do your experience dizziness or have a spinning world feeling sometimes?

It may be a sign of vertigo which is a condition related to an inner ear infection. There could be many reasons behind this, but a common one is stress or anxiety.

People often ask can stress cause vertigo or if it is just a myth. Well, the answer to this question lies in theory conducted by experts. Recent research also shows that around 5-10% of Americans feel dizziness thrice daily. However, some people think it is caused by stress, while others considered other reasons behind it.

So, the question is, what is the real cause behind vertigo? If it is stress, how does it create a condition like dizziness? In this post, we will examine the real reason behind the loss of balance in the body.

What Does Vertigo Mean?

Spinning world caused by vertigo condition

Before we start to discuss how stress causes vertigo, let's understand what exactly vertigo means. Simply put, it is the feeling of a spinning world or losing balance caused by the underlying infection in the inner ear. 

It is one of the common types of dizziness that makes you feel light-headed and cause difficulty in walking straight. Vertigo isn't a disease; rather, it is a symptom of underlying conditions.

Can Stress Cause Vertigo?

Like you, the majority of people ask, can stress be caused by vertigo? 

To understand the relationship between stress and vertigo, you should also know the common causes of this condition.

Stress does not directly cause vertigo, but it is responsible for the dysfunction that causes it. The condition of a whirling feeling is caused due to an infection in the body's vestibular system. This system provides balance to the whole body. Various body parts, like the nervous system, brain, and ears, get affected by vertigo.

Due to this, the vestibular system doesn't work properly and causes dizziness. However, the other problems it causes are nausea, hearing loss, and tingling feeling in the ears. When the stress hormones (cortisol) are high, they negatively affect the flow of neural signals. 

These neural signals transmit directly behind the brain and vestibular system. Due to the inflow of neurons, the neuro nerves of the brain cause the imbalance. Stress also causes other hormones like neurosteroids and histamine that indirectly cause the condition of vertigo. So, stress can be the cause behind underlying conditions like off balance.

What Are The Other Causes Of Vertigo?

Besides stress, there can be other causes of vertigo as well. As we mentioned, it is caused by dysfunction in the vestibular system. Some of the other causes of vertigo are as follows:

Meniere Disease 

It is a chronic condition that builds up fluid in the inner ear. As a result, people suffer from repeated episodes of vertigo. Some of the problem faced by people due to this chronic disease is a loss in hearing ability, fullness sensation, and tingling feeling. The intensity of symptoms can be severe and last for minutes to hours. It is a lifelong disease that is treated with non-surgical treatments.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV)

It is also known as Benign positional vertigo that develops in the inner ear due to the irregular collection of calcium. When people suffer from an episode of this vertigo, it lasts from a few seconds to minutes. Even a small mispositioning in the head also caused the problem, like dizziness.

In most cases, this condition is resolved on its own. But experts suggest a treatment called "Canalith Positioning." During this treatment, an expert moves your head into different positions to move the calcium for reabsorbed. After successful treatment, patients start to feel better from the next day.

Migraine In Vestibular

Another cause of vertigo is migraine in the vestibular system. Like stress cause vertigo, migraine is also responsible for the frequent episodes. Common symptoms like headaches and blurred vision can be seen during this among people. The duration of this type of vertigo is not fixed, but most of the episodes last less than an hour. The treatment for this problem is the same as ordinary migraines. 

Neuritis In Vestibular

When inflammation occurs in the nerves of the vestibular system, it causes dizziness. This vertigo is also known as labyrinthitis, which is related to the virus. With time, swelling around the nerve increases and cause serious problem. Some of the people also complained about problems of nausea, vomiting, and difficulty in balancing. There is also a risk of developing permanent hearing loss in this type of vertigo.

Different Signs Of Vertigo (May Or May Not Be Caused By Stress)

Other common signs are an indication of vertigo. The signs like dizziness are mainly caused by stress. However, some of these symptoms are indirectly affected by anxiety. 

Some of the common signs of vertigo are as follows:

  • High fever(Usually 100.4ºF)
  • Pain in chest
  • Numbness and tingling feeling
  • Difficulty in hearing
  • Blurry environment
  • Severe headache
  • Difficulty in creating a balance
  • Vomiting
  • Trouble in speaking

The above symptoms may differ from person to person. If you have longer episodes of vertigo, then reach out to the doctor on an urgent basis.

Can Vertigo Cause By Stress Affect Women?

There is no specific gender that is affected by vertigo. Studies show that more than 40% of American women suffer from dizziness or vertigo conditions. The biggest reason behind this is the daily stress of work, family, and financial troubles. As we mentioned, the major cause of vertigo is dysfunction in the inner ear.

Especially in women, the problems arise during the pregnancy and mensuration period. However, some women remain unaffected by the symptoms of vertigo. According to the research, the chances of dizziness are higher in older adults (usually above 60 years). Even kids can also get affected by vertigo caused by stress. It is intimidating to know, but the major cause behind dizziness in kids is the pressure of studying.

How Does Stress Cause Vertigo?

Once you have the answer to the question: Can vertigo cause stress?

The next question you may ask is how stress or anxiety can cause vertigo. Well, we need to dig deeper to understand it. When you have stress, it indirectly causes the condition of dizziness. 

During stress, our body goes into a different mode, in which the blood pressure and heart rate increase. As a result, the process of respiration and muscle retraction starts to be affected. When our brain gets these signals, it alerts other body parts. During this process, our body takes more energy to facilitate the process. 

However, in some cases, it can trigger the problems like vertigo. People who have migraine are largely affected by dizziness. As the muscles tense up, it also creates difficulty in breathing. In the end, people feel a spinning world around them. This whole process takes place in the form of episodes. During this, the infection in the inner ear is usually caused due to stress, which later causes vertigo.

What Is The Diagnosis Process Of Vertigo Caused By Stress?

The diagnosis of vertigo can be done by two tests: a balance test and Videonystagmography(VNG) test. Both of these tests are conducted when the person has regular episodes of vertigo.

Balance Tests

A balance test is used to check the balance of the disorders in the body. It is a condition when you feel dizzy, a major vertigo symptom. During the test, the expert uses the technique to check the body's hormones. 

The audiologist usually conducts it when you ask to follow the pattern of light on the screen. Afterward, warm water is put in an ear to check the inner nerve. If there is no response, then it is an indication of vertigo.


VNG is a test used to measure the eye-movement. During the test, experts cause your eyes to move in different directions. It creates a connection between the brain and the eyes. When there is a conflict between the signal during the test, it clearly shows the sign of vertigo.

How To Manage The Vertigo And Reduce Its Risk In The Future?

Vertigo is a natural condition that can cause any time. Many experts suggest treatment to control strokes. However, you can also work on reducing the stress level to reduce the risk of dizziness. Some of the proven ways to control vertigo caused by stress are as follows:

Do Exercise Daily

The best possible way to manage vertigo is to exercise daily. We have also mentioned the importance of morning exercise for women in our other posts. There are many simple workouts you can start performing at home. Indian ancient yoga has many asanas that reduce stress levels. Stress is a major cause of vertigo, so you can control it by doing simple daily exercises. 

Reduce the Alcohol & Caffeine

If you drink alcohol or take caffeine in large doses; it's time to reduce it. Consumption of alcohol cause vertigo. You can replace caffeine or alcohol with healthy drinks like green tea, smoothies, and herbal drinks. To avoid the future risk caused by vertigo, plan to avoid alcohol at any cost.

Take Relaxation Therapies

Various therapies help in controlling vertigo. You can talk to a therapist regarding your present condition. If you have high stress, focus on managing it with possible therapies. According to the experts, the possibility of vertigo reduces by 50% when you don't have stress.

Get at least 8 Hours of Sleep

The main reason behind most health problems is not getting enough sleep. If you compromise your sleeping schedule, then get back to healthy sleep formula. Take a minimum of 8 hours of sleep to control vertigo and other mental health-related problems. It would be best to minimize screen time to improve your sleeping schedule.

Vestibular Rehabilitation

It is a physical therapy that helps cure the problem of the inner ear caused due to vertigo. In vestibular rehabilitation, experts work on building strength in nerves. Various medications are also used to build the immune system for developing symptoms. It helps in controlling the future episodes caused by vertigo. When the symptoms create the risk of death, surgery is used by doctors. 

Wrap Up

Stress becomes normal among people nowadays, so vertigo is. However, people have confused regarding, can stress cause vertigo. With the changing culture, every person suffers from high-stress levels, which soon turn into conditions like dizziness. Vertigo is a new term of which many people are unaware. 

It is a condition caused due to dysfunction in the vestibular system. During this, the inner ear can absorb the fluid(calcium. As a result, people face symptoms like a spinning world around them, nausea, difficulty breathing, etc. Vertigo can be easily managed by exercising regularly, reducing alcohol, getting enough sleep, and taking possible treatments. 

However, when the common signs become a serious disease, contact the doctor as soon as possible. We hope you found this post on vertigo caused by stress insightful. To keep reading easy and adaptable health tips and guide, subscribe to our newsletter. It merely takes 10 seconds and provides valuable weekly information in your inbox.




Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Dizziness?

Stress and anxiety can cause dizziness or vertigo. Both conditions contribute to the dysfunction of the vestibular system. It can occur anytime and results in nausea and an imbalanced body.

How Long Does Vertigo Caused By Stress Last?

Vertigo can disappear in minutes. It comes in the form of episodes and is not a permanent condition. Sometimes, it stays for longer (maximum hours or day).

Can Stress Cause Vertigo Symptoms?

Yes, stress can cause vertigo symptoms. Some of the common signs of vertigo are as follows:

  • Nausea

  • Headaches

  • Tingling feeling in the ear

  • Blurred vision

  • Difficulty in hearing

What Causes Vertigo In Females?

The major cause of vertigo in females is stress levels. It is mainly caused by problems that occur in certain parts of the brain. Other reasons behind this are migraines and stroke in the past.

Is There A Permanent Treatment Available For Vertigo?

There is no permanent cure for vertigo available. You can only control it by taking medications, therapies, and possible treatments. Different lifestyle changes can also help in managing vertigo with time.

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