by Steven Kiak, SPT
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment
Have you ever woken up one morning and after sitting up experience a sudden feeling that the room is spinning around you? Did this leave you feeling nauseous and off balance? These symptoms may be explained by a condition known as Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
What is BPPV?
BPPV is the most common inner ear disorders that can result in an individual experiencing vertigo or the sudden sensation that you’re spinning. It is not a serious or life-threatening condition and can be treated by a simple positioning maneuver.
What Causes BPPV?
Currently there is no known specific cause for BPPV. Symptoms of vertigo occur due to tiny crystals called otoconia in your ear becoming dislodged from the gelatinous material they sit in and travel to semi-circular canals deeper in the ear. When this occurs, the crystals push on the hair cells that act as sensors for the brain and provide information related to balance. As the body changes position the brain is now receiving inaccurate information and the body loses its spatial detection, which results in the unpleasant spinning sensation.
Who can get Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?
BPPV can occur in anyone, but is more prevalent in individuals over 50 years old and in the female population. Other risk factors may include head injury or trauma and inner ear conditions.
What are the Symptoms of BPPV?
The most common symptoms related to BPPV include: A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo), loss of balance or unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. These common symptoms are related to positional changes or quick movements of your head.
Diagnosis and Treatment of BPPV
BPPV can be diagnosed by a medical professional such as a physical therapist or your primary care physician by taking a thorough subjective history and physical exam. BPPV can easily be treated with a positional maneuver that moves the dislodged crystals back to their appropriate place. This often can result in an immediate reduction or elimination of symptoms
BPPV is just one of the many conditions that the physical therapists at Capital Area PT can assess and treat. For additional information, contact our physical therapy clinics in Latham, Malta, or Queensbury by calling (518) 289-5242.