Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common form of vertigo. Vertigo is the feeling of movement when there isn’t any. BPPV is sudden onset of temporary vertigo, usually a room-spinning sensation, when moving in certain positions. This can affect people of any age; however, it is more common in middle-aged & older adults. BPPV often comes on without any known cause.
Frequently, a BPPV sufferer will go to bed feeling normal, & then experience a temporary room-spinning sensation upon rolling over or getting up out of bed in the morning. The vertigo usually passes after a minute; however, some people continue to feel a sense of disequilibrium, nausea, &/or light-headedness. Those symptoms are due to dislodged otoconia (inner ear crystals).
If you experience BPPV symptoms, you should look up a Vestibular Rehab Specialist in your area. Your primary care doctor should be able to direct you towards someone who could help you.
The Dix-Hallpike Maneuver is a gold-standard test for BPPV. Your doctor or therapist will watch your eyes during this maneuver. If you have BPPV, you will have involuntary eye movements called nystagmus from this test. If positive, you will experience temporary vertigo symptoms. If your are positive for BPPV, treatment will be performed to resolve your symptoms.
The Epley Maneuver is the treatment for BPPV. Your doctor or therapist will take you through a series of movements to help move your displaced inner ear crystals back into their correct place. See video below.
Patients may feel temporary disequilibrium after BPPV testing & treatment; however, the treatment is highly effective. In most cases, BPPV resolves after 1-3 treatments. In typical treatments of BPPV, the Epley Maneuver will be performed once or twice. The remaining treatment time should be spent treating any posture or movement dysfunctions, performing eye & balance exercises to restore optimal function & help prevent BPPV recurrence.
I treat BPPV, as well as help people who suffer with poor balance, decreased strength, flexibility & function. Please contact me with any questions!
Dr Jay Hartnett
Owner of Hartnett Physical Therapy