How to Treat Positional Vertigo

Updated February 21, 2017

A person who has benign paroxysmal positional vertigo will typically feel dizzy throughout much of the day while standing or sitting upright. This dizziness is caused by ear rocks or debris that is located in the inner ear. Ear rocks are small crystals that form from calcium carbonate inside the ear. Among the other symptoms of positional vertigo are imbalance, a feeling of lightheadedness and nausea. There are ways to treat positional vertigo, however, that can lessen the effects of the disorder.

Sleep on at least two pillows at night, which keeps the head elevated. Experiment with the number of pillows to see which number works best to limit the symptoms.

Rise from the bed slowly when you wake up. Swing your legs over the side, and sit on the bed for one to two minutes. Place your feet on the floor and avoid standing up too quickly.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Remove any obstacles on the floor that could cause falls, and do not move your head or body suddenly.

Stand or sit as upright as possible during the day. Ask another person to pick something up from the floor to avoid bending over. Avoid all activities that require lying flat on the back.

Purchase motion sickness medicine and take as directed to combat feelings of nausea. Avoid visiting the beauty salon, dentist's office or other offices that require lying down.

Perform some exercises, referred to as Epley manoeuvres, to reposition the ear rocks within the inner ear. Sit in an upright position on a chair or bed. Turn the head slowly to the right until a 45 degree angle is reached. Lay back on the bed in this position and wait for at least 30 seconds.

Sit in a vertical position a second time. Lay down on the bed on the right side. Turn the head to the left and wait for at least 30 seconds. Move back and forth from the right to the left, holding each position for at least 30 seconds.


Performing the Epley manoeuvres may induce greater dizziness at first. Perform them slowly at first and ask your doctor to walk you through the manoeuvres before doing them on your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Pillows
  • Motion sickness medication
  • Water
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