Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

It is day 4 of Balance Awareness Week and we are going to talk about the most common cause of vertigo, Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo or BPPV for short.

Me posing with the flamingos which are the mascot for this week.

BPPV is caused when crystals in your ear canal move from there normal spot.

People who have BPPV get brief mild or severe attacks of vertigo. These episodes are hard to predict. Unlike some of the other causes of vertigo there is a test for BPPV called Dix-Hallpike maneuver. Your doctor will also look for abnormal eye movements and ask if you are experiencing a spinning sensation. 

The most common symptom:

  1. Dizziness 
  2. Spinning 
  3. Blurred Vision
  4. Lightheaded
  5. Unsteadiness 
  6. Headache
  7. Loss of Balance
  8. Nausea
  9. Vomiting 
  10. Malaise 

Your doctor may run other tests to rule out other causes of vertigo.

  • Electronystagmography (ENG) or videonystagmography (VNG). The purpose of these tests is to detect abnormal eye movement. ENG (which uses electrodes) or VNG (which uses small cameras) can help determine if dizziness is due to inner ear disease by measuring involuntary eye movements while your head is placed in different positions or your balance organs are stimulated with water or air.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This test uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of your head and body. Your doctor can use these images to identify and diagnose a range of conditions. MRI may be performed to rule out other possible causes of vertigo.

The good news is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may go away on its own within a few weeks or months. But, to help relieve BPPV sooner, your doctor, audiologist or physical therapist may treat you with a series of movements known as the canalith repositioning procedure.

You can also do something called the Eppley Maneuver at home.

  1. Sit down on a bed or a comfortable sofa
  2. Turn your head 45 degrees to the side of the ear affected with vertigo.
  3. Put a pillow behind you and lie back for 30 seconds so that the pillow is under your shoulders.
  4. Turn your head 90 degrees to the opposite side, but make sure you don’t raise it. Remain in this position for 10 seconds.
  5. Turn your body 90 degrees to the same side you turned your head, but make sure not to change the position of your head while doing so. Remain in this position for 30 seconds.
  6. Start to slowly sit up and bring your head back to its normal position.

There is another treatment that you can also do at home called Semont-Toupet Maneuver.

  1. Sit upright on a flat surface.
  2. Place a pillow behind you and stretch your legs.
  3. Slowly lie down and turn your body to the right side while your head is facing the left side and looking upward.
  4. Change your position so that your body is turned to the left side while your head is facing the right side looking downward.
  5. Return to your normal position with your body sitting straight up while your head is looking forwards.

Also, you can do simple exercises like head rotations. Avoid stress. Head massages can help.Get adequate sleep. Drink water and limit alcohol. Also, ginger and almonds might help in addition to watching your diet and limit your salt intake.

In rare cases surgery may be required.

I hope you are all spin free.

Love, Peace and Light! Rita

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