Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo(BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo.
Benign - it is not life threatening
Paroxysmal - it comes in sudden, brief spells
Positional - it gets triggered by certain head positions or movements
Vertigo - a false sense of rotational movement
What Causes BPPV?
It is a mechanical problem with the inner ear that occurs when some of the calcium carbonate crystals that are normally embedded in gel in the utricle become dislodged and migrate into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals, where they are not supposed to be. When enough of the particles accumulate in one of the canals they interfere with the normal fluid movement that the body uses to sense head motion, causing the inner ear to send false signals to the brain.
There are two types of BPPV: one where the loose crystals can move freely in the fluid of the canal (canalithiasis), and one where the crystals are thought to be hung up on the bundle of nerves that sense the fluid movement (cupuloithiasis). With canalithiasis, it takes less than a minute for the crystals to stop moving after a particular change in head position has triggered a spin. Once the crystals stop moving, the fluid movement settles and the nystagmus and vertigo stop. With cupulolithiasis, the crystals stuck on the bundle of sensory nerves will make the nystagmus and vertigo last longer, until the head is moved out of the offending position. Treatment is different for each variant.
How is it Treated?
At IHC, our practitioners are trained to diagnose and treat BPPV. Once your health care provider whether it is canalithiasis or cupololithisasis, then they can take you through the appropriate treatment maneuver. The maneuvers make use of gravity to guide the crystals back to the chamber where they are supposed to be via a very specific series of head movements called Canalith Re-positioning Maneuvers.
If you are suffering from Vertigo, we can help. For more information or to book an appointment please Contact Us.