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Can anxiety cause dizziness and ear pressure?

What are the causes of anxiety, dizziness and ear pressure?
Last update on Jun, 28, 2024

Have you ever felt a sudden wave of dizziness or ear pressure? You probably wondered why this happened out of the blue. Maybe it’s even made you feel anxious. What caused this? Will it happen again? When? There are many possible causes, and anxiety can play a role in worsening symptoms. 

What causes anxiety, dizziness and ear pressure?

When it comes to ear pressure and dizziness, anxiety can play a role. Anxiety can be caused by a number of factors, whether it’s daily stressors or a specific situation. Although we normally think of anxiety as an emotion, it can manifest as physical symptoms, which may result in even more anxiety. Ear fullness feelings, for example, can be a physical symptom that stems from anxiety, and clogged ears can then make you feel more on edge. Here are a few other possible causes of dizziness, ear pressure and anxiety.

Vertigo can cause ear pressure and dizziness. Anxiety and stress can contribute to these dizzy episodes and make them happen more frequently. Additionally, the symptoms of vertigo can cause more anxiety. Feeling the world start spinning around you is unsettling, especially if it lasts for long periods of time.

Some inner ear disorders can cause dizziness and ear pressure. People who experience these symptoms may also be more likely to develop anxiety. Inner ear problems such as Meniere’s disease or vestibular migraines, for example, can lead to increased anxiety, especially if they are severely affecting someone’s quality of life.

Anxiety itself can contribute to TMJ disorders, which may lead to dizziness. The temporomandibular joint is called the TMJ. Dizziness, ear pressure and ear ringing (tinnitus) can all be symptoms of a TMJ disorder. These disorders usually develop when a person clenches their jaw or grinds their teeth when feeling stressed or anxious.

Anxiety can also lead to headaches, whether those are tension headaches caused by tight muscles or migraines triggered by stress. When dealing with a headache, ear pressure and dizziness may follow. Chronic or severe headaches may also lead to more anxiety.

Constant dizziness can both be caused by anxiety and contribute to anxiety. This can easily get you stuck in a loop. For those dealing with chronic dizziness, anxiety is something that should be looked into and managed, especially if there are no physical issues that seem to be causing it.
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Treatments for anxiety, dizziness and ear pressure

When it comes to treatment for vertigo, dizziness and congested ear relief, there are certain things you can do that might help. You also may find it beneficial to get to the root of your stress with anxiety treatment. 

One option for dizziness and vertigo treatment is physical therapy. Vestibular rehabilitation therapy is a type of physical therapy that can help you improve your balance and reduce symptoms of dizziness. You might also benefit from vertigo exercises, such as the Epley maneuver. This is a movement you can do with your neck which helps to remove calcium crystals out of your ear’s semicircular canal, which may be the cause of your dizziness.

You might also want to try acupressure for blocked ear symptoms. Acupressure involves putting pressure on specific points on your body to help relieve symptoms of pain or discomfort. If you are also dealing with ear ringing or suspect you have a TMJ disorder, you might also benefit from some of these exercises for tinnitus relief.

Another treatment option is vertigo medication or medication for ear congestion. These might include types of anti-nausea medication, such as meclizine, to help with dizziness, or congestion medication, such as pseudoephedrine, to help relieve sinus pressure or plugged ears. Medication for anxiety might also be beneficial in helping you manage your stress levels. Be sure to talk to your doctor to explore what options are best for you.   

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Ways to manage anxiety from dizziness and ear pressure

If dizziness and ear pressure have been contributing to your anxiety, it may be time to seek help and try some of the following options. Therapy for anxiety may be a good place to start

If anxiety has been an ongoing issue or has been contributing to problems in your daily life, you may want to consider exploring therapy options. Therapy for anxiety may include various forms of talk therapy, where you talk to a licensed professional about your concerns and learn techniques to help you cope with your stress.

Many therapists also employ treatment techniques such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy to help clients get to the root of their anxiety and trauma.  

Spending time exploring meditation for stress and anxiety can also be helpful. Meditation has many benefits, including reducing symptoms of anxiety and promoting emotional health, which can also be good for your physical health. It’s important to be consistent with meditation  to experience the full benefits. Experts recommend practicing meditation between five and 45 minutes per day.

Have you ever been told to stop and take a deep breath? It’s true that deep and slow breathing can be helpful if you’re dealing with anxiety and stress. There are many different breathing exercises for anxiety. Some of them involve paying close attention to your body as you breathe while other exercises may have you count your breaths. A mental health therapist can teach you breathing exercises to try at home, and many meditation apps also offer guided breathwork sessions.

Movement is another way that you can help to improve your mental health. A few helpful physical exercises for anxiety are running, walking and yoga. Running or other types of cardio can boost your mood, while slower exercises like walking or yoga can help you to feel calmer and practice mindfulness.

Most people know that sleep and anxiety affect one another. It’s hard to get a restful night of sleep if your brain is wired, and on the other hand, not getting adequate sleep will result in you feeling even more stressed. This is why prioritizing quality sleep is important. A few steps you can take to improve your sleep are staying off screens in the hour or so before bed, using room-darkening shades and sticking to a consistent sleep schedule.
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When to see a doctor

If you’re experiencing dizziness, ear pressure and/or anxiety that is persistent or getting worse, or if it’s affecting your ability to perform daily tasks, you should see your doctor. They will be able to diagnose or rule out any severe, underlying conditions. They may also refer you to a specialist, such as a vertigo specialist or ENT, who can help you move forward with treatment. 

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Experiencing symptoms of vertigo?

If you’re noticing symptoms of vertigo, visit your doctor.

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