Dizziness can cause a range of sensations, such as feeling lightheaded, uneasy, faint, or weak. Dizziness can make people feel like their surroundings are moving or spinning. Although many factors can cause dizziness, it is considered one of the most common symptoms of anxiety. Anxiety causes a lot of physiological changes within the body that can lead to dizziness.
Exploring The Link Between Anxiety and Dizziness
The relationship between anxiety and dizziness is a complicated one. While some people have dizzy spells due to anxiety, others may be anxious because of dizziness. Anxiety can cause dizziness for several reasons. They are:
Anxiety frequently results in hyperventilation, which is characterized by rapid and deep breathing. Hyperventilation is one of the most common causes of dizziness. This is because rapid breathing causes disturbances in oxygen and carbon dioxide levels of the body, leading to feelings of being dizzy or light-headed.
During the experience of anxiety, your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that prepares your body to face a possible threat. This sudden release makes your heart pump harder and faster, briefly reducing the supply of oxygen to your brain. That can make you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Although anxiety does not directly cause dehydration, it can certainly cause a lack of self-care and a loss of appetite, which contribute to dehydration. Dehydration can contribute to dizziness.
Sometimes dizziness in itself can trigger anxiety for some people, as they may feel insecure about their balance, worry about the risk of falling, or become generally worried about their health.
How Long Do Dizzy Spell from Anxiety Last?
The duration of anxiety-induced dizzy spells or dizziness depends on and varies from one person to another. It also depends on the intensity of anxiety that a person experiences during each anxiety episode. Additionally, the overall severity of the anxiety, physical health and ongoing treatment also influence the duration of dizzy spells. Dizziness can be particularly troublesome for those with chronic anxiety.
How to cope with Anxiety related Dizzy Spells?
Anxiety-induced dizziness can be difficult as it tends to disturb the daily functions of those who suffer from it. However, there are a few short and long-term steps that one can take to cope with it. They are:
- Sit or lie down as soon as you feel dizzy to prevent yourself from falling or being injured
- Hold on to something stable, like a piece of furniture or a walking stick for additional support
- Drink plenty of water, while avoiding stimulants like coffee or alcohol
2. Long-Term Steps
Dealing with anxiety-related dizziness in the long run involves learning ways to manage anxiety such as:
- Build awareness of the situations that cause you to feel anxious and dizzy
- Practice deep breathing techniques, such as diaphragmatic breathing, to manage symptoms of anxiety and dizziness
- Sometimes people dealing with anxiety-related dizziness might find relief through vestibular rehabilitation, a form of physical therapy focused on improving balance and reducing dizziness-related problems.
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and other forms of psychotherapies can help manage the symptoms of anxiety effectively
It is important to understand that dizziness caused by anxiety is generally not dangerous, and overall, dizziness is not likely to affect your brain in the long-term. However, if someone experiences frequent and long-lasting dizzy spells or dizziness, it is advisable to consult a trained doctor at the earliest.
- Dizziness. (2017, October 18). Nhs.Uk. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dizziness/
- How to Stop Anxiety Dizziness. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2023, from https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety/symptoms/dizziness
- Ltd, H. P. (2022, February 28). Stop Dizziness Caused By Anxiety: 7 Science-Backed Methods That Can Help. HealthMatch. https://healthmatch.io/anxiety/dizziness-caused-by-anxiety
- Team, C. H. E. (2023, July 19). Can Anxiety Cause Dizziness? Charlie Health. https://www.charliehealth.com/post/can-anxiety-cause-dizziness