Vertigo

Other names: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

DEFINITION

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of Vertigo — the sudden sensation that you're spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning. BPPV causes brief episodes of mild to intense Dizziness, usually triggered by specific changes in head position.

SYMPTOMS

When to see a doctor: If unexplained Dizziness or Vertigo recurs periodically for more than one week, seek medical attention.

CAUSES

Often, there's no known cause for BPPV. When a cause is determined, it's often associated with head trauma or disorders affecting the inner ear. Dislodged crystals in the inner ear can also lead to BPPV symptoms.

RISK FACTORS

BPPV is more common in individuals over 50 and in women. Head injuries or other balance organ disorders may increase susceptibility to BPPV.

COMPLICATIONS

BPPV rarely causes complications but can increase the risk of falls due to Dizziness.

PREPARING FOR YOUR APPOINTMENT

Before seeing a doctor, note down symptoms, recent head injuries, medical information, and questions for your doctor. Questions may include possible causes, recommended tests, treatment options, and self-care steps.

TESTS AND DIAGNOSIS

Tests such as Electronystagmography (ENG), videonystagmography (VNG), and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to diagnose BPPV by assessing eye movements and inner ear function.

TREATMENTS AND DRUGS

The canalith repositioning procedure involves specific head maneuvers to move particles in the inner ear, relieving symptoms. In rare cases where this isn't effective, surgery may be recommended.

LIFESTYLE AND HOME REMEDIES

To manage BPPV at home:


QUESTIONS

  1. What is BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a common cause of sudden spinning sensation.

  1. Who is more susceptible to BPPV?

Individuals over 50 and women are more prone to BPPV.

  1. What are common symptoms of BPPV?

Dizziness, Vertigo, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting.

  1. How is BPPV diagnosed?

Through tests like ENG, VNG, and MRI to assess eye movements and inner ear function.

  1. What is the canalith repositioning procedure?

A series of head maneuvers done to move particles in the inner ear and alleviate symptoms.

  1. When should you seek emergency care for BPPV?

If experiencing Dizziness or Vertigo along with severe headache, fever, vision changes, weakness, or difficulty walking.

  1. Can BPPV recur after successful therapy?

Yes, it may recur even after successful treatment.

  1. What lifestyle changes can help manage BPPV at home?

Being cautious of balance issues, sitting down when dizzy, using good lighting, considering a cane for stability.

  1. What role do crystals play in causing BPPV?

Dislodged crystals in the inner ear can lead to sensitivity in response to head movements.

  1. Is surgery always necessary for treating BPPV?

No, surgery is only considered in rare cases where other treatments are ineffective.