Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

What is BPPV?

BPPV is the most common disorder of the inner ear’s vestibular system, which is a vital part of maintaining balance. BPPV is benign, meaning that it is not life-threatening or generally progressive.  BPPV produces a sensation of spinning called vertigo that occurs suddenly and with a change in head position.  BPPV occurs when tiny crystals of calcium carbonate within the inner ear become dislodged and move around when you turn your head. This sends false signals to the brain causing the symptoms.

Symptoms of BPPV

In addition to vertigo, symptoms of BPPV include dizziness (lightheadedness), imbalance, difficulty concentrating, and nausea. Activities which bring on symptoms can vary in each person, but symptoms are caused by changing the head’s position with respect to gravity. Common problematic movements include looking up, or rolling over and getting out of bed.

Treatment of BPPV

Treatment of BPPV usually involves a particle repositioning head manoeuvre such as the Epley.  These manoeuvres involve a specific series of patterned head and trunk movements that can be performed with your physiotherapist. In many cases your symptoms will be resolved after just 1 treatment session.