Updated: Jan 10
Have you ever rolled over in bed and started feeling very faint as the room began to spin? Or every time you turn your head while walking does your vision start acting funny and you want to stop yourself from falling? Or when you bend over to tie your shoes do you get nauseous from the spinning that occurs?
However it affects you, and call it what you want, Vertigo, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), will drive you mad.
BPPV is the most common form of Vertigo and produces the sensation of spinning inside the head. It is usually caused when “stones,” otherwise known as canaliths, in your inner ear are displaced out of its sack and running amuck inside the innermost hairs that give us messages about balance and the position of our head in space.
Not only can it occur at any moment, but it can also happen to any age—including adolescence, teens, and especially older adults.
Can occur in different positions or sudden bouts
Certain head positions, such as tilting and twisting of the upper neck area, can trigger it
The vital part happens with the frequent eye movements and false signaling to the brain
Symptoms develope by imbalance but are caused by mostly duration, frequency, and intensity
Causes of BPPV
Head trauma (concussions or falls)
Lack of sleep
BPPV can also be related to brain tumors
How to Diagnose BPPV
The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is a diagnostic test to help determine if what you have is BPPV. (Check it out on youtube…but I’d recommend seeing a Doctor of Physical Therapy and/or a Medical Doctor for the proper diagnosis.)
For those who are diagnosed, the episodes usually only last for a couple of seconds to minutes, but hey can be frightening. The frequency of events can vary from person to person but typically are provoked with certain positions. Most people who are diagnosed with BPPV usually end with future occurrences of these episodes because the stones come out of the ear easier.
Check out Dr. Lin's variation of the Epley's Maneuver here!
How to Get Rid of It
Proper diagnosis is the first and foremost. The next thing you will have to do is to seek treatment by your Doctor of Physical Therapy with the Epley’s Maneuver. It could take a few sessions, but once you understand how the maneuver is performed, you will be given it as a home exercise program to manage and rid of the spinning. Heed my caution. This is just a recommendation, but please don’t try this at home (despite Youtube). You may end up hurting yourself and making the dizziness worse.
Heal smarter, not harder
Dr. Justin C Lin