Have you ever turned your head quickly or got out of bed only to find yourself grabbing for a wall or the edge of your bed because the room is spinning and you are extroidinarely dizzy? If you have, you already know its one of the worst feelings and can be very difficult to manage for an hour let alone days on in. If you have felt this before, you could be suffering from a condition known as benign positional vertigo or BPPV.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo — the sudden sensation that you're spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning.
This positional vertigo causes brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is usually triggered by specific changes in the position of your head. This might occur when you tip your head up or down, when you lie down, or when you turn over or sit up in bed.
Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can be a bothersome problem, it's rarely serious except when it increases the chance of falls. You can receive effective treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo during a visit with a doctor of physical therapy who is trained in evaluating and treating this condition.
Symptoms you may experience can include dizziness, a sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo), a loss of balance or unsteadiness, nausea and vomiting. These symptoms can come and go, with symptoms lasting less than one minute. Some episodes of vertigo can disappear for sometime and then recur at a later point. Although the signs and symptoms of BPPV can vary from patient to patient, they are almost always brought on by a change in the position of your head.
There are certainly more severe cases of dizziness that would warrant seeing your doctor or medical professional sooner such as if your vertigo, dizziness or both are accompanied by a new or different / severe headache, a fever, double vision or loss of vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking, leg and or arm weakness, falling or difficulty walking and numbness or tingling. These signs and symptoms are of a more serious nature and should immediately prompt the patient to seek medical care immediately.
But if it is just plain dizziness or room / head spinning symptoms you’re experiencing as described earlier, treatment for BPPV is very easy to perform and effective at reducing and eliminating your symptoms. The issue is caused by a sudden disruption and dislodging of crystals (known as otoconia) within your inner ear. There are a number of reasons this can happen but it can also just happen out of no where. More commonly, some patients will describe getting out of bed quickly or accidentally falling and lightly bumping their head. Long plane rides and high altitudes could be a cause or something as simple as an ear infection where inflammation is putting to much pressure on the inner ear and in particular the otolith organs that house the crystals.
Once BPPV is diagnosed by the physician and or doctor of physical therapy, a series of treatments that involve carefully moving the head in various directions on the treatment table can be performed immediately to help correct the problem. In its simplest form, these movements are implemented to help move the crystals back into the area of the inner ear in order to correct the vertigo problem. These treatments have a very high success rate if diagnosed properly and can quickly resolve in 1-2 treatments. I often send the patient home with a carryover exercise they can safely perform in bed to help the problem resolve even faster as well as instruction on what not to do while the condition is being corrected.
If you think you may be experiencing positional vertigo or have had it in the past and would like to learn more about what you can do if the problem occurs again, click here: http://www.rubinopt.com/request-an-appointment/
to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mike, physical therapist today. A full hour will be dedicated to examining and treating the problem source based on your particular examination findings. You will then be prescribed specific and individualized home exercise program to continue following your appointment to further expedite your recovery.
Don’t let the dizziness or room spinning take you out of your fitness / work routine or hobby any longer. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Mike, Manual-Therapy-Certified Physical Therapist today!