Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common condition that affects the inner ear and can cause sudden, brief episodes of dizziness or vertigo. BPPV occurs when small calcium crystals within the inner ear become dislodged and move into the ear canal, triggering abnormal signals to the brain that can cause dizziness and vertigo.
We commonly see this condition in clinic and well equipped to help fix BPPV. Here are some key facts about BPPV:
The symptoms of BPPV typically include brief episodes of vertigo, usually triggered by changes in head position. These episodes may last a few seconds to a few minutes and may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting.
What causes BPPV?
BPPV is caused by the displacement of small calcium crystals (otoconia) within the inner ear. This can occur as a result of head injury, infection, or simply with age.
BPPV is diagnosed through a physical exam and may also involve in clinic movement based diagnostic tests which can help to identify the location of the dislodged crystals.
Treatment for BPPV typically involves repositioning manoeuvres, which are designed to move the dislodged crystals out of the ear canal and back into their proper position. The most common movement involves a series of head movements that can be performed in a healthcare professional's office or at home - this is completely safe and does not involve neck manipulation.
The prognosis for BPPV is generally good, with most people experiencing a significant improvement in their symptoms following treatment. However, in some cases, BPPV may recur or may require further treatment.
There is no surefire way to prevent BPPV, but maintaining good head and body posture, avoiding sudden head movements, and minimising the risk of head injury can all help to reduce the risk of developing BPPV.
If you are experiencing symptoms of BPPV, it is important to seek medical attention from a healthcare professional who can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan. With appropriate treatment, most people with BPPV can experience significant relief from their symptoms and return to their normal daily activities.