Understanding and Treating Vertigo and BPPV

Disturbances in the inner ear can cause Vertigo which is a type of dizziness. A common symptom is the feeling of spinning in your head or the world around you is spinning or moving. It can last several seconds or minutes.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a specific type of vertigo and usually presents as a feeling of spinning with head motions such as turning over in bed, looking up or looking down, sitting up, turning your head to look at your surroundings. It consists of brief episodes of mild to severe symptoms and can include nausea. It can result to gait and balance problems.

Crystals in your ear being in the wrong place in the inner canals can cause BPPV. These crystals in your ear can be dislodged from their normal position as you change your head position. If you experience dizziness due to BPPV, consulting a physical therapist can help treat BPPV and dizziness by restoring the normal function of the inner ear through positional treatments and exercises. A physical therapist can also help if you have gait and balance problems associated with BPPV.

One of the common treatments for vertigo caused by BPPV is Epley maneuver. It consists of turning the head towards the affected ear followed by a series of head and body movements to help move the ear crystals from the semi circular canals to reduce or eliminate vertigo.

Here are some tips to manage Dizziness caused by BPPV

  1. Avoid tilting or moving your head quickly
  2. Sit for a few minutes at the side of your bed before getting up
  3. Try some deep breathing exercises to help you relax
  4. Focus your eyes on a stationary object while waiting for the dizziness to subside
  5. Elevate your head while lying on your back by using several pillows