Does anyone find carbonation triggers or worsens their symptoms?

Hey Marci,

I don’t drink soft drinks much anymore (a rare sprite) but do drink carbonated or sparkling mineral waters and nothing happens for me. Wow, yet another weird potential trigger. I’m surprised we don’t get a migraine from breathing.


Probably depends on how hard we’re breathing, Scott, and whether we’re having a good day or a hypersensitive one. Sigh (an example of breathing that’s GRAS).

I’m trying to determine if carbonation plays a part in my symptoms after drinking a diet soda. I’ve always blamed aspartame, but then I noted I sometimes get symptoms when I drink soda sweetened with Splenda. I use Splenda in other drinks and recipes and haven’t noticed an obvious reaction. Last night I bought a bottle of sparkling water without additives (I don’t know why, I’ve never liked it before :? ) and noticed a flare-up of symptoms after just a few drinks. Of course, there could have been something else triggering me that I hadn’t noted, but I’ve been wondering about this one for a while. I guess I’ll have to start experimenting with my beverages to try to pinpoint the culprit(s).

Hi there, I believe that carbonation exacerbates my imbalance/disequilibrium symptoms. Curious if you have learned any more about this since your last post.

Extract from the NHS website relating to,triggers

”Your turkey and cheese sandwich and small bar of dark chocolate might be a tasty lunch, but beware of the headache that could follow it. All these foods contain chemicals that can bring on a migraine. Other culprits include aged cheeses like stilton and brie, diet fizzy drinks, and processed meats and fish”

It’s so long since I drank a fizzy drink I’d forgotten why I never consume them though must admit Champagne is the only one I ever liked and as I haven’t taken alcohol for decades it’s no surprise.

Hi MarciM, I know it’s been 13 years since you posted this, but were you ever able to get to the bottom of your exact triggers? or find any other answers/solutions/insights into the issue? I developed vestibular neuritis when I got covid and have had residual symptoms for a year now, with carbonated drinks (sparkling water, diet sodas, some non-diet sodas, beer) being a trigger for me (among other things). Your post has validated my experience for a while now, and it seems to be the only one of its kind online. Thank you for bringing this up! Please let me know if you have any new information to share.

Hi Julia,

I’m sorry you’re going through that. It’s a life changing experience for sure. I’m much better than I was for the first few years after my “crash” but I have not been symptom free since. Mostly, I try to manage the triggers that I have some control over, and I believe my brain has learned to compensate. Fortunately, I rarely experience vertigo anymore, and when I do, it is short lived. I do still deal with migraine daily, mostly aura symptoms but occasionally headache.

I also have Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which shares some symptoms with vestibular migraine. Since you said COVID triggered vestibular neuritis, I wonder if you have any symptoms of POTS as well. It is known to triggered by COVID as well as other viral infections. I was formally diagnosed with POTS over 10 years ago, but I’m sure I’ve had it since my teens in the 1980s.

Anyway, in regard to your question about carbonated beverages, I still drink them on occasion. I’m well enough now that I can tolerate them in moderation. My primary food triggers are caffeine, raw onion, hot peppers, gluten, and additives like MSG, aspartame, and nitrates. My most challenging triggers are weather changes, heat, lack of sleep and hormone fluctuations.

I hope you find answers. You will get better, but it will take time. Hang in there!