Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of
positional dizziness or vertigo in the community. The major symptom of BPPV is sudden
vertigo caused by changes in head position including: turning in bed, lying down with
head extended, looking up, looking down, or any sudden changes in head position.
Other symptoms of BPPV include spinning sensations, dizziness, loss of balance or
unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting. Most often there is no specific cause for BPPV,
but at times it could be due to a blow to the head such as a fall. Inside your inner ear,
there is a labyrinth system that monitors positional sense, this labyrinth system consists
of 3 semicircular canals that contain fluid and hair-like sensors, and otoconia which are
crystal-like objects that detect movements in the linear plane. These otoconia are
dislodged into the semicircular canals which cause BPPV and the vertigo symptoms.
At Premier, we have staff with experience treating these conditions. BPPV falls
under a niche considered vestibular rehabilitation. Treatment for BPPV includes canalith
repositioning maneuvers such as an Epley maneuver. Patients with BPPV, usually also
present with a vestibular hypo-function due to the unaffected ear having to compensate
for the dysfunction on the affected side. A vestibular hypo-function is a dysfunction in
either the visual, vestibular, or somatosensory system and at times could be a
combination. Treatment for vestibular hypo-function includes adaptation, habituation,
and substitution activities. We believe in implementing these treatments in combination
with the latest research in this unique field to address your conditions to improve your
quality of life!
Miguel Silva, PT, DPT