BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) is the most common cause of vertigo in adults.
BPPV is a condition characterized by intermittent vertigo (false sense of spinning) associated with changes in position. Most commonly, those suffering with this condition get dizzy when they lay down, lean back, roll over or sit up from lying. You may also feel imbalanced, nauseous, fatigued or anxious. These episodes of vertigo generally last for only a few seconds to minutes or until the position of the head is changed.
BPPV occurs when small calcium-rich particles dislodge from a part of the inner ear called the utricle. These particles travel into the canals of our inner ear and either remain free-floating or stick within the canals. The canals are responsible for sensing rotation and velocity of the head. When these particles enter the canals, they create a false sense of rotation, causing the brain to wrongly believe that you are spinning.
Understandably, this can be extremely distressing, causing significant anxiety, and is often accompanied by nausea and an inability to work or function normally in day to day life. Some people are able to self treat this condition at home using various maneuvers designed to relocate the crystals within the ear. However, proper assessment is required to determine exactly which ear, which canal and therefore which treatment method is required to resolve the issue. The maneuvers are very specific and calculated. If done incorrectly, they may not work or possibly make your symptoms worse. It is recommended that you seek out the help of a vestibular specialist when first attempting this treatment.