Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common and harmless form of dizziness.

Overview

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common and harmless form of dizziness. Patients suffer from brief episodes of movement-related dizziness, which can be accompanied by nausea and/or vomiting. There are various movements and exercises that can bring relief or solve the problem.

Symptoms

  • Sudden onset of severe dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting

Dizziness often occurs when you turn in bed, get up in the morning, hang up washing or bend over.

Causes and treatment

Cause

  • A “small stone” in the inner ear canal becomes dislodged (affecting the balance system)
    • Often triggered by sudden movements such as turning, etc.

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • What is known as the Hallpike manoeuvre (dizziness is provoked by a sudden movement of the head)
  • Caloric test (water of different temperatures is irrigated into the ear canal)
Possible therapies
  • Relief movements and exercises (Epley, Semont, etc.)
  • An exact sequence of movements helps to return the “small stone” to its original location

What can I do myself?

  • For frequent attacks of dizziness, relief movements and exercises in accordance with instructions can be done at home

When to see a doctor?

Dizziness accompanied by:

  • Double vision or loss of sight
  • Weakness in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Difficulty walking
  • Numbness in arms/legs

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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