Have you ever suffered from dizziness when bobbing your head?
When you get up in the morning, you sit on the edge of the bed waiting for that feeling to go away.
What if this was the most common cause of dizziness?
A benign paroxysmal positional vertigo diagnosis is the best way to make dizziness go away.
- 1 What is benign positional vertigo?
- 2 An inner ear problem
- 3 Who has BPPV?
- 4 Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo symptoms
- 5 BPPV diagnosis
- 6 Ear crystals and dizziness
- 7 Why does the treatment not relieve my positional vertigo?
- 8 How can you be sure you have positional vertigo?
- 9 Benign positional vertigo exercises
- 10 How to make dizziness go away?
What is benign positional vertigo?
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common form of vertigo.
It makes you feel like you’re on a carousel at full speed.
You step out of it and your head spins; you can’t walk straight anymore, you have to sit down quickly.
This sensation is caused by head movement.
Definition of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV):
It is said to be benign because that type of dizziness won’t kill you.
He is paroxysmal because he is short-lived and suddenly arises.
Positional means it shows up following a movement of the head and certain changes of position.
Vertigo generally conveys the sensation of movement felt while you are not moving.
An inner ear problem
BPPV occurs when crystals arise from a white, powdery substance (calcium carbonate dust) normally stored in the utricle that is called otoconia, detach and migrate to the other two semicircular canals.
These crystals don’t belong in these canals.
When the head moves, the crystals stimulate the sensory hair cells that are in the semicircular canals, which sends wrong information to the brain and triggers a dizzying sensation.
Who has BPPV?
As previously mentioned, BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo and it is estimated that 50% of people aged 70 and over experience this disorder in their existence.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo symptoms
Symptoms of BPPV are often brief episodes of dizziness that last from seconds to minutes.
They may be accompanied by nausea and even trigger vomiting.
A feeling of imbalance and weakness in the legs can also cause you to sit down very quickly.
Symptoms may come and go, and you may not even feel anything until you make sudden head movements.
They are very present in certain situations:
- dizziness when I lean forward
- dizziness when I get up
- dizziness when hanging upside down
- dizziness when I move my head
- dizziness when changing position
- dizziness when I lower my head
Note that this syndrome does not cause hearing loss.
If you suffer from vertigo and hearing loss, it is best to consult a doctor quickly to determine the cause.
The diagnosis of this vertigo is essentially practiced by manipulations and changes of position induced to provoke them.
An eye examination is suggested, looking for nystagmus, an involuntary rhythmic oscillation of one or both eyes giving rise to new exams.
Ear crystals and dizziness
When the deficiency of an ear or ears is established, treatment can begin.
It translates to canalith repositioning maneuvers, most often the Epley maneuver.
This technique is performed to move the crystals and bring them back into the utricle.
If done properly, it gives excellent results.
There are multiple repositioning techniques but it is best to initiate them under the guidance of a healthcare professional before undertaking them yourself.
Why does the treatment not relieve my positional vertigo?
You have tried everything and despite the treatment, you do not feel any improvement?
There are three reasons why nothing seems to treat your vertigo:
1- The release maneuver is too fast
The repositioning maneuver is practiced to move the crystals in the semicircular canals.
But this move is very slow.
If the waiting time after manipulation is not enough, the crystals get stuck in the center of the channels.
You no longer feel dizzy because the crystals are stationary.
The maneuver must therefore be carried out in two stages, with a time-lapse of 30 seconds to one minute between the two stages.
2- A canal error
There are three canals for each inner ear.
Crystals can therefore be found in 6 different canals.
Each canal requires a specific maneuver.
So you may not have processed the affected canal.
3- Do you suffer from BPPV?
It is possible to obtain positive results in 3 sessions and the researchers attest to this since they mention a 97% success rate for this treatment.
If you continue to suffer from vertigo despite these maneuvers, it may be time to question the diagnosis.
How can you be sure you have positional vertigo?
There is a nuance between dizziness and dizzy spell but certain criteria can put you on the path to positional vertigo.
Movements like waking up, getting out of bed, washing your hair, bending down while showering, gardening, etc., can be obvious signs of BPPV.
In this case, dizziness lasts between 30 and 60 seconds.
If they show up for more than a minute, that’s another cause.
Similarly, after the dizzying episode, you may experience balance issues that can last from one to two hours, sometimes several days.
You may also experience dizziness, a floating sensation, headache, and nausea.
These are major signs of positional vertigo.
Consult your physician to begin treatment as soon as possible.
Benign positional vertigo exercises
Repositioning maneuvers remain the best treatment for positional vertigo.
The Epley maneuver
When the Epley maneuver is applied to treat the posterior canal, the head is turned 45° while lying on the back.
A cushion positioned in the back up to the shoulders allows the head to be placed back at an inclination of 20 to 30° with the shoulders.
Of course, you prefer the side that seems to trigger vertigo.
If you have BPPV, nystagmus, or involuntary eye twitching, occurs in this position.
Hold for about 60 seconds before turning your head to the opposite side for the same duration.
You then move on by standing sideways, the head placed at 45° from the horizontal.
You hold this position for 60 seconds and then proceed in the same way on the other side.
What happens during the Epley maneuver?
The goal is to move the crystals to the opening of the canal.
With each change of position, it takes between 30 and 60 seconds for the crystals to stabilize near the channel.
You have to take your time because if you change position before the crystals settle, they go back and the maneuver fails.
The head tilt is also essential.
But be careful because if the maneuver is performed too slowly, the crystals won’t move and the maneuver is useless.
To perform this maneuver, you must sit on the edge of your bed and turn your head 45° before quickly dropping to the side.
You then lie down in this position for a minute and then get up quickly to adopt this same position on the other side where you stay for a minute.
Head orientation should never change.
Finally, stand up and sit on the edge of the bed again for about ten minutes.
Practice this exercise once a day until dizziness subsides.
How to make dizziness go away?
The next time you feel dizzy when turning your head or with a simple change of position, consider consulting your physician to establish that you do have BPPV.
Once the diagnosis is established, you can begin treatment based on repositioning maneuvers to try to solve this inner ear crystals problem.