There is no shortage of possible symptoms that anxiety may cause, and yes, anxiety can definitely cause dizziness.
If anxiety is causing you dizziness there may be two issues at play. One is obviously the dizziness is caused by your anxiety, but the other issue may be that you are having dizziness which is actually causing the anxiety.
You may be suffering from a vestibular disorder, or inner ear disorder, that is causing the dizziness. Having an inner ear disorder is also linked to heightened anxiety, so as mentioned, it may be the dizziness causing the anxiety rather than the anxiety causing the dizziness.
If you do have a vestibular disorder, you are a much higher chance of your anxiety resulting in dizziness. And if you do suffer from anxiety, you are a higher chance of developing a vestibular or inner ear disorder.
Stress hormones such as cortisol are released during an anxiety or panic attack, and research has shown that they affect vestibular function.
Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness All Day?
Anxiety can cause dizziness all day, especially if you have a vestibular disorder. There are many things that anxiety can cause, and dizziness is definitely one of them.
If the dizziness is lasting all day it is likely to be from an inner ear disorder rather than the anxiety, so you should discuss this with your doctor who will be able to treat your symptoms. Later in this post we will go over a few of the possible treatment options available to you.
Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness And Blurred Vision?
Anxiety is not a common cause of blurred vision but there is a possible link between the two.
What generally happens when you are in a highly anxious state or suffering from a panic attack is that your vision actually improves and sharpens. This is because your body has gone into a fight or flight mode in response to a fear or perceived threat, and your vision often sharpens to help you identify the threat more easily.
For some people, the opposite is true and they actually suffer from blurred vision and dizziness during moments of high anxiety. During a panic attack when the sympathetic nervous system kicks in, things start to move faster. Your heart starts racing, your blood pressure rises and your muscles may start twitching. Because everything is moving faster as your body prepares you to identify threats, you may have difficulty focusing on the things around you. This lack of focus combined with everything moving quickly can be the cause of blurred vision and dizziness.
Can Anxiety Cause Headaches And Dizziness?
We have already confirmed that anxiety can cause dizziness, but can it cause headaches as well? The answer is yes, it absolutely can cause headaches and it is a fairly common symptom of anxiety.
It is not completely clear why anxiety can cause headaches, but there is a link that shows people who suffer from migraines are more likely to develop anxiety disorders and depression. There is also a link showing that people who suffer from anxiety are a higher chance at developing migraines.
What Are The Other Symptoms Of Anxiety
We have already covered dizziness, blurred vision and headaches, but anxiety can also cause the following:
Sense of fear or dread
Tightness in the chest or throat
Increased heart rate
Trembling or shaking
Fatigue and tiredness
If you are experiencing these symptoms then it is important that you discuss them with your doctor. For some of the symptoms there may be another underlying health issue that is causing it that needs to be treated. Dizziness is an example of that, as your doctor may need to treat the inner ear disorder.
Treatment For Anxiety Dizziness
There are two main treatment options for chronic dizziness. The first is physical therapy which is a common treatment for vestibular disorders. The treatment will involve exercises that focus on balance, and on the head and eyes.
The second treatment option is medication, which is usually used if physical therapy has not been effective. Antidepressants, beta-blockers, diuretics and calcium channel blockers are commonly used.
Treatment For Anxiety
Sometimes if you treat the underlying anxiety then the dizziness will improve on its own. Approximately 18% of the population in the United States suffers from an anxiety disorder, but only 36.9% of them actually receive any treatment for it. There are many treatments available, some of which are detailed below:
Psychotherapy is usually the first option to treat anxiety. It is just another name for talk therapy. Talking to your doctor or medical professional about your symptoms and everything else that is going on is a good way to alleviate some of your anxiety. Often the doctor will use proven techniques such as cognitive behavior therapy, or CBT as it is more commonly referred to. CBT will help to equip your brain with a better way of managing anxiety provoking situations. It takes time and practice, but it is definitely worth it. CBT helped my depression and anxiety immensely.
Another good talk therapy option is acceptance commitment therapy, or ACT as it is known. It is less well known than CBT, but can be just as effective. ACT helps you to stay in the moment and not be overwhelmed by your thoughts and feelings. With ACT, you actually let the anxiety come to you and it teaches you how to do that and how to let it pass by without having such a large impact on you.
Medication is another option for treating anxiety. There are many antidepressants and other medications that aim to reduce your symptoms. Then there is also the short term solution of faster acting medication such as Valium.
Mindful meditation can be very beneficial at reducing stress and anxiety. It combines well with ACT, as they both aim to keep your mind and focus in the present moment and be aware of your thoughts, feelings and the things going on around you. I’ve written a previous post on a beginners guide to mindfulness that you might like to read. Click here to see it.
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