Children's Hospital Colorado
Ear, Nose and Throat

Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

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What is persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD)?

Persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD) is a condition that causes non-spinning dizziness. PPPD typically develops gradually following a triggering event brought on by environmental or social factors.

Initially, PPPD symptoms usually last for short periods. In some children, symptoms begin to last for longer periods until they become almost constant, lasting throughout the day and most days of the week. Symptoms may reduce when a child is distracted and may get worse in stressful situations.

What causes PPPD?

Doctors don’t fully understand what causes PPPD. Some studies suggest it may happen when the nervous system reacts to things in a person’s environment such as being in a crowd or loud noises. Most of the time, a stressful event or illness triggers the symptoms.

PPPD often happens in people who have experienced a sudden vestibular disorder such as vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis, an anxiety attack, migraine or concussion. PPPD can also develop slowly in people with chronic conditions that cause dizziness or unsteadiness such as vestibular migraines, forms of dysautonomia, cardiac conditions or other movement-limiting disorders.

People with anxiety and depression have a higher chance of developing PPPD following an event that causes dizziness. And people with mental health concerns may have greater difficulty managing their symptoms.

Learn about our Pediatric Balance and Vestibular Disorders Clinic.

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