Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness

Last updated: July 9, 2020

Summarytoggle arrow icon

Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD), originally known as phobic postural vertigo (PPV), is an idiopathic disorder that presents with a persistent sensation of non-rotational dizziness or unsteadiness and hypersensitivity to motion, lasting at least 3 months. It is the most common cause of chronic dizziness and it often follows an event that caused acute vertigo or dizziness, such as vestibular neuritis or panic attacks. Typically, patients recover from the initial acute disease, but the feeling of dizziness persists. Treatment consists of vestibular rehabilitation, psychotherapy and, if necessary, SSRIs.

Epidemiologytoggle arrow icon

  • Most common vestibular disorder in people 30–50 years of age


Epidemiological data refers to the US, unless otherwise specified.

Etiologytoggle arrow icon


Clinical featurestoggle arrow icon

  • Persistent sensation of non-rotational dizziness or unsteadiness for at least 3 months
    • Symptoms are present ≥ 15 of every 30 days, although most patients experience daily symptoms
    • Dizziness typically worsens with motion of both the patient and his or her surroundings
  • PPPD patients often suffer from anxiety and/or depressive disorders


Diagnosticstoggle arrow icon


Differential diagnosestoggle arrow icon

See differential diagnoses for vertigo

The differential diagnoses listed here are not exhaustive.

Treatmenttoggle arrow icon

The following measures are indicated for all patients:


Prognosistoggle arrow icon

The majority of patients recover completely or improve considerably.


Referencestoggle arrow icon

  1. Holle D, Schulte-Steinberg B, Wurthmann S et al. Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness: a matter of higher, central dysfunction?. PLoS One . 2015; 10 (11).doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142468 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  2. Saraiva R, Bittara M, von Söhsten Lins EMD. Clinical characteristics of patients with persistent postural-perceptual dizziness. Brazilian Journal of Otorhinolaryngology. 2015; 81 (3): p.276–282.doi: 10.1016/j.bjorl.2014.08.012 . | Open in Read by QxMD
  3. Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness. . Accessed: May 23, 2017.
  4. Popkirov S, Staab J. Persistent postural-perceptual dizziness (PPPD): a common, characteristic and treatable cause of chronic dizziness. Practical Neurology. 2017.
  5. Pollak L, Klein C, Stryjer R, Kushnir M, Teitler J, Flechter S. Phobic postural vertigo: a new proposed entity. IMAJ. 2003; 5.

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