The Bottom Line
- The most frequent condition affecting the inner ear is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
- Although BPPV can affect persons of various ages, it is most prevalent in those over 60.
- Physical therapy is an effective way to treat most patients. Rarely, the symptoms could last for years.
What is BPPV?
The most frequent cause of vertigo, a very specific sort of disorientation that makes you feel as though the room is spinning around you, is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), an inner-ear illness. BPPV happens when particles or calcium carbonate crystals shift from their normal location, enter the fluid filling the vestibular canals creating the balance organ in the inner ear, and disrupt the vestibular system, making the person feel unbalanced and dizzy.
A significant aspect of this condition is described by each component of the name:
It’s not particularly serious, hence the term benign.
Paroxysmal refers to abrupt onset, brief duration, and cyclical occurrence.
Positional refers to the type of dizziness that is brought on by specific head positions or motions.
BPPV is typically treatable at a doctor’s office because it is common.
BPPV symptoms can include:
- Unexpected episodes of severe spinning
- Nausea, dizziness, or both
- Eyes drift and flick open and close uncontrollably
- Vertigo lasts for thirty seconds or more
- A loss of balance
Effectiveness of BPPV treatment
In 80% or more of cases, the alleviation of vertigo, dizziness, and other BPPV symptoms is immediate when BPPV treatment approaches are applied correctly. High-quality BPPV practitioners typically achieve a high success rate after three executions of the techniques (90+%).
How To Prevent Recurring Attacks?
- Repositioning maneuvers (Epley and Semont)
Sequentially rotating the head in a way that removes the crystals and encourages them to float out of the semicircular canal is this easy, efficient method of treating BPPV. It can be essential to make several repositioning maneuvers during the same visit.
- Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT)
VRT starts with a thorough evaluation that includes a thorough history of the patient’s symptoms, information about medications, hearing or visual issues, a history of falls, and information on activity level. The physiotherapist will then determine the primary source of the issue and assess any secondary issues brought on by the vertigo or dizziness with a battery of special tests (inactivity, loss of strength, stamina, or mobility.)
- Balance Exercises
Balance Exercises are intended to build stability so that daily tasks for work, play, and self-care can be completed successfully. Exercises for balance should be created to target the underlying balance issue that each patient has. Additionally, the exercises must be relatively difficult while being safe enough for patients to complete them without falling to promote changes in balance.
Our practitioners at Physiomobility are skilled in the assessment and treatment of BPPV. A lifetime of vertigo and vertigo-related symptoms and optimal well-being may be separated by vestibular therapy.
Do you have any inquiries? Want to learn more before scheduling your initial assessment about how vestibular rehabilitation can benefit you? To schedule a free 20-minute phone or online consultation with our vestibular physiotherapist, get in touch with us. We’ll be open to your queries and provide you with treatment options and honest advice about your condition.
Nazario, B. (2020). Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Overview. Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/brain/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo
Farrell, L. (2019). Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT). https://vestibular.org/article/diagnosis-treatment/treatments/vestibular-rehabilitation-therapy-vrt/
Hopkins Medicine. (2020). Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv