Benign positional vertigo, also called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or BPPV, is a disorder that gives you a feeling of vertigo or a spinning sensation, according to the National Institute of Health. BPPV occurs when a calcium crystal breaks free and floats inside fluid in the canals of the inner ear. Your head is sensitive to the workings inside the inner ear. Different head positions result in dizziness, a loss of balance, lightheadedness and nausea. Certain treatments can help rid you of benign positional vertigo.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Things you need
See your doctor when feeling symptoms of benign positional vertigo. Your doctor takes you through a series of head repositions called the Epley manoeuvre. The manoeuvre is used to move the dislodged piece out of the sensitive area of the ear.
Lie face up on a table as your doctor takes your head in his hands. He moves your head facing to the right and leaves for 30 seconds. He then moves your head to face to the left and leaves for another 30 seconds. Next, lie on your side for 30 seconds. You'll then turn over and lie on your opposite side for 30 seconds. Your doctor watches your eyes for abnormal movements which signal BPPV.
Continue these positions as your doctor tells you. He has you continue until he sees the abnormal movements stop in your eyes.
Lie on the table; wait 10 minutes before moving. This allows the crystal to settle in a section of the ear that is not as sensitive and should not cause vertigo. Repeat the procedure at home the next day, following the same steps as at the doctor's office. Alert your doctor if vertigo has not ceased after several days.
Take antihistamines your doctor recommends. Antihistamines may help relieve dizziness.
Talk to your doctor about surgery if head repositioning does not work. In surgery, a bone plug is placed within the ear, blocking the portion of the ear that is sensitive to particles. It cannot then respond to stimuli.
Tips and warnings
- Sleep in a recliner at a 45-degree angle the first two nights after receiving the Epley manoeuvre. Sleep with two pillows for a week following the procedure.
- Sit immediately when feeling a sensation of spinning or dizziness to avoid falling.
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