Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Getting spells of dizziness associated with turning your head and wondering if it might be BPPV?

BPPV usually starts between the ages of 40 and 60 and is more common in women.

It is sometimes associated with Meniere’s disease and may be a symptom associated with head injury.

Symptoms

Dizziness when moving head – eg lying down, sitting up, rolling over in bed, leaning forwards.

Often symptoms are worse when the head is tilted to one side and often worse in the mornings.

Attacks come on suddenly and last 20-30 seconds.

Attacks settle quickly if the head is kept still although light-headedness and imbalance may occur and last for up to a few hours.

It is common to feel sick but rare to actually vomit.

Hearing is not affected and there is no ringing in the ears.

Assessment and Treatment

Here at Ashbourne Physiotherapy and Sports Injuries Centre, we have our specialist physio Lucy who takes a special interest in the assessment and treatment of dizziness symptoms.

Assessing these problems sometimes results in temporarily bringing on dizziness.

If you are found to be suffering from BPPV, you can be assured that symptoms often resolve on their own within a few weeks.

Meanwhile, movements which elicit dizziness should be avoided where possible and care should be taken that symptoms do not put yourself or others at risk eg when driving or operating machinery and take precautions against falling.

Symptoms may be treated with Epley’s manoeuvre (a specific series of movements  performed by a trained healthcare professional and/or a specific exercise progamme.

In some cases it is appropriate to teach patients to perform a modified Epley’s manoeuvre at home.

Where symptoms do not settle satisfactorily or episodes recur, referral on-wards to a hospital consultant may be required.