More and more people tell me lately they get sudden vertigo while driving. Vertigo — which is also a fantastic Alfred Hitchcock movie — is a feeling of sudden dizziness. It’s the sensation that the world around you is spinning, even when you know it isn’t.
Vertigo is a medical condition. The most common cause of vertigo is a malfunction of the inner ear. Your inner ear is responsible for your sense of balance and anchoring your body in relation to the outside world.
Another common source of vertigo are the side effects of certain medications. Anti-depressant, blood pressure, and sedative meds all list vertigo as a side effect.
I recently learned about another medical cause of vertigo called binocular vision dysfunction (BVD). BVD is a condition where your eyes are misaligned and don’t communicate properly with your brain.
BVD leads to symptoms like dizziness, headaches, and sudden vertigo while driving.
The solution is neurovisual corrective lenses in your glasses or contacts. An optometrist produces them to specifically correct your eye misalignment.
Normal corrective lenses improve your visual acuity. But neurovisual lenses fix your eye misalignment and help your eyes work better with your brain.
Other Causes of Sudden Vertigo While Driving
BVD is not the only cause of driving vertigo. Many people experience dizziness as a symptom of acrophoba, AKA the fear of heights.
This “height vertigo” is not technically vertigo, even though it’s often called that. True vertigo only has medical causes. Causes of vertigo like acrophobia and claustrophobia are psychological in nature, not medical.
Effective treatment for psychological vertigo like fear of heights includes:
- Relaxation – You can cope with some stressors on your own via deep breathing and mindfulness techniques. Hypnosis for driving anxiety is also an effective treatment. There’s a lot of self-help hypnosis sessions available at Hypnosis Downloads.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is a short-term form of psychotherapy. It’s considered the most effective therapy at overcoming anxiety-induced vertigo.
- Medication – Anxiety medication is sometimes appropriate for relief of vertigo. Only take medication under the care of a prescribing healthcare professional.
- Exposure Therapy – The concept in exposure therapy is that confronting your fear is the best way to get over it. Exposure therapy includes gradual, increasing levels of exposure to the causes of your anxiety. Over time, this decreases your sensitivity to them.
First, make sure your vertigo while driving does not have a physical cause like BVD. Schedule an appointment with a qualified optometrist to get checked out.
Ruling out medical causes, use the above tips to overcome psychological driving vertigo. They’re effective and easy to find.