Stress and BPPV

Here is the link to an interesting study that came out in 2006.  About 50% of BPPV cases have an unknown etiology.  This study starts to shed some light on the potential triggers to BPPV.
“High levels of anxiety, depression and somatization were recorded and considered psychogenic precursors of BPPV, thus emphasizing the role of psychological distress in precipitating peripheral vestibular disorders.”
This point of this study is not to suggest that stress CAUSES BPPV, but rather, in some people, stress can be a trigger which may set off changes in the otolithic membrane.  These changes can lead to BPPV.  This is important for a few reasons.  One, patients with recurrent BPPV may need to address psychological issues to get BPPV under better control. Two, patients are often wondering “why me?” when they get BPPV.  If they can point to a stressful event as a possible trigger, it can help ease the anxiety around the diagnosis.  As a healthcare practitioner, healing the whole person is often the biggest challenge, but is absolutely critical for helping people optimize their quality of life.


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