There are many predisposing factors for BPPV such as older age, female, and even genetics. But one connection that surprised myself and I think many therapists was the link between BPPV and Anxiety. In fact, people diagnosed with an anxiety disorder are TWICE as likely to be diagnosed with BPPV than those without.
We don’t completely understand this linkage yet, but theories connecting the inflammatory process and the neuroendocrine process of the two conditions appear similar.
So how does this affect how we treat BPPV?
Personally, my take home message from this research is that we need to listen to our patients and understand the connection. Anxiety disorders produce a variety of symptoms which can vary from person to person, and dizziness can be one of them.
It is important to not sum up all symptoms to someone’s anxiety disorder and instead inquire and ask more questions, especially if dizziness is new to the patient, or their dizziness has changed recently.
If you or your patient are feeling dizzy, it takes only 2 minutes to run through the BPPV tests which can be done at home. If you aren’t sure how to do that, check out the Healing Vertigo App to learn!