Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Treatment

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is characterized by intense periods of dizziness. Unlike other types of vertigo, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may not cause dizziness at all times. Instead, brief periods of dizziness are often caused by movement of the head.

When a patient lies down or suddenly looks in a different direction, for example, the movement may cause a period of dizziness to occur. Some patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) feel that the room around them is spinning, while others feel that the spinning and dizziness occurs inside their heads.

Is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) dangerous?

Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) isn’t normally serious, complications can arise because of the effects of dizziness. If a patient is standing when an attack strikes, for example, they may find it difficult to keep their balance.

As a result, people may experience falls and subsequent injuries as a result of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Due to this, many people with the condition struggle to work and may be unable to drive until the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is resolved.

What causes benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

The cause of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV) is located in the inner ear. While it is normal for calcium carbonate crystals to be present in the utricle, when these move into one of the three ear canals, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BBPV) occurs.

The presence of these crystals, or otoconia, affects fluid movement within the inner ear, resulting in incorrect signals being sent from the ear to the brain. The affected ear sends messages to the brain to indicate that the head is moving but, as these are false, they do not correlate to existing messages being sent by the other ear, the eyes and joints.

Although an attack of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) normally lasts for under a minute, it can be an extremely unpleasant sensation. While the condition doesn’t usually cause on-going dizziness, patients may feel slightly off balance or unsteady, even when an attack isn’t occurring.

Is there an effective benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment?

Due to the debilitating impact of the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment, many sufferers are keen to find an effective form of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment. Fortunately, the condition does respond quickly if the correct treatment is prescribed.

While some physicians are able to perform the treatment immediately, others may be unfamiliar with the appropriate condition management. As a result, the patient may be referred to an ear, nose and throat specialist or a vestibular rehabilitation therapist. Due to the prevalence of the condition, these personnel are normally very experienced in providing benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment.

Before embarking on a course of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment, physicians must determine what type of condition the patient has. If the crystals are free-flowing, it is termed canalithiasis and this is fairly easy to treat. However, if the crystals become lodged on nerves within the inner ear, this is known as cupulolithiasis and can take longer to remedy.

The most beneficial benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment involves mechanically moving the crystals so that they are no longer affecting the working of the inner ear. By taking the patient through a series of movements, such as the Epley Maneuver or the Liberatory Maneuver, the head is moved in such a way that the crystals are dislodged and/or returned to the utricle.

Will benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) re-occur?

Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment is highly successful, patients may experience more than one bout of the condition. While it may be distressing at first, the efficacy of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment means that patients are often able to perform the maneuvers themselves, thus limiting the impact of the condition.

Despite being highly treatable, patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) aren’t always diagnosed correctly. Unfortunately, this can lead to months or years of unpleasant attacks which could have been avoided.

With the right treatment, however, mild cases of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) can be resolved in minutes. While more stubborn cases may require two or three sessions of treatment with an experienced vestibular rehabilitation therapist, it can normally be fully treated and patients are able to resume their daily activities.