Could I Have BPPV?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo or dizziness. BPPV will typically present itself as a “room spinning” type of dizziness with head movements or specific positions. For example if you went to the hair dresser and had your head tilted back for an extended period of time, or you start to notice that you feel that room spinning type dizzy every time you roll onto your side out of bed, or you start to notice when your sitting or walking that the room is spinning.
So why does this happen? All of us have these crystal like structures in the inner part of ear known as otoliths. When we move our head in a particular direction the crystals in outer inner ear will dictate that change in movement and send that information to our brain that our head has either moved to the left, right, up or down. With BPPV, it means that one of these crystals have dislodged from our inner ear and is now floating in one of the 6 semicircular canals that exists in our ear. It’s important to note that these free floating crystals cannot be visually observed during a physical exam with your physician as these crystals do not make their way past the inner ear into the external ear. The free floating crystals cause the inner ear to send mixed signals to the brain which then leads to this dizziness or vertigo sensation.
What can I do about it? Fortunately there is a solution to resolving BPPV! If your primary care physician has had much experience with vestibular disorders such as BPPV they are qualified to diagnose and treat it. If you are not able to locate a physician with this experience your physical therapist can absolutely diagnose and treat BPPV as well, with a thorough physical exam followed by immediate treatment that involves repositioning techniques of the head. Almost always, BPPV is resolved with these repositioning techniques, and in the event it is not resolved there are instances in which it will resolve on its own.
So if you feel like you may be suffering from BPPV contact us and let us help you get rid of your dizziness!