Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo are triggered by specific changes in the position of your head, such as tipping your head up or down, and by lying down, turning over or sitting up in bed. You may also feel out of balance when standing or walking.
Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can be a bothersome problem, it is rarely serious except when it increases the chance of falls. You can receive effective treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
About half of the time, doctors can't find a specific cause for BPPV.
When a cause can be determined, BPPV is often associated with a minor to severe blow to your head. Less common causes of BPPV include disorders that damage your inner ear or, rarely, damage that occurs during ear surgery or during prolonged positioning on your back.
The ears role
Inside your ear is a tiny organ called the vestibular labyrinth. It includes three loop-shaped structures (semicircular canals) that contain fluid and fine, hair-like sensors that monitor the rotation of your head. Other structures (otolith organs) in your ear monitor movements of your head - up and down, right and left, back and forth - and your head's position related to gravity. These otolith organs - the utricle and saccule - contain crystals that make you sensitive to movement and gravity.
For a variety of reasons, these crystals can become dislodged. When they become dislodged, they can move into one of the semicircular canals - especially while you're lying down. This causes the semicircular canal to become sensitive to head position changes it would normally not respond to. As a result..you feel dizzy.
At Max Well Physical Therapy, our therapists will perform a procedure that consists of a series of movements know as the canalith repositioning procedure. Many patients have relief within the first few visits.