Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is an inner-ear condition that occurs with head movement, causing a person to feel as if they are spinning, or as if their location is moving.
- dizziness (mild-to-intense and brief)
Symptoms may be sporadic and occur for short or long periods. BPPV may subside; however, seeking treatment early may prevent falls and injury.
Medical experts believe that BPPV is caused by otoconia (calcium carbonate crystals) in the ear canal coming loose, and then falling into a part of the inner ear. These crystals then stimulate nerves that detect head movement. Even if the head moves slightly, messages sent to the brain believe there is much greater movement, hence causing symptoms listed.
Degeneration due to ageing, damage or injury to a part of the inner ear may cause BPPV. Colds and influenza, and even long-haul flights may trigger BPPV.
In many cases, there is no known cause; however, there is a link between osteoporosis and BPPV. Older women are more likely to have BPPV.
Other conditions such as Meniere’s disease, migraine and acute neuritis may mimic and complicate BPPV diagnosis. Experienced health practitioners can assess to determine if BPPV is present.
Our osteopath, Dr Sarah Davies is experienced in assessing and treating clients with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
Following a physical assessment by Dr Sarah, a series of positional manoeuvres – known as the Canalith Repositioning Procedure – is used. This aims to move the crystals from the canal of the inner ear to another area where they do not cause dizziness. At-home exercises may be part of a treatment plan, and a second visit is usually required to check on a client’s progress.
Majority of BPPV cases are treatable with a hands-on approach. In some cases, general practitioners may prescribe anti-nausea medication. In rare cases, surgery involving an ear plug, is performed.