The inner ear serves two main functions. These are hearing and balancing. When the inner ear is affected, dizziness and a feeling of unsteadiness can occur.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is characterised by the sudden feeling of short-lived dizziness usually ‘spinning’ sensation that is aggravated by certain head movements for example, turning in bed and looking upwards.
Other conditions like labyrinthitis and migraine may cause vertigo.
What are the common causes:
- Spontaneous (happens without a known cause)
- Head trauma
- Ear trauma
- Infection of the inner ear
What are common signs and symptoms:
- spinning sensation lasting a few seconds to a minute
- In some cases, vertigo may last to few minutes
- vertigo is always aggravated by turning movements of head such as looking up to reach something on shelf.
What are the risk factors :
- 50 years old and above
- Family members who have similar dizziness
What types of treatment are available:
In this condition doctors may prescribe medications to reduce vertigo and nausea.
Your Physiotherapist may help you by:
- By teaching specific exercise to help your brain to adapt to the movements that cause dizziness
- Sometimes by doing repositioning maneuvers
What is the prognosis:
- The recurrence rate may vary among individuals
- In some cases, untreated BPPV can resolve spontaneously with time
What can I do to help myself:
- Do the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist
- Avoid any physical impact to your ear
- if vertigo reoccurs, remain seated or keep still in a position comfortable to you for a few minutes, until the dizziness goes away.
If there is no improvement, seek immediate medical attention