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Navigating the Spin: A Guide to Vertigo and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Concept for dizziness or vertigo. Having sensation of movement lightheadedness woozy unsteady

Navigating the Spin: A Guide to Vertigo and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

Vertigo, a disconcerting sensation of spinning or swaying, has been recognised as a complex condition with various underlying causes. A common culprit behind these dizzying episodes is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).

Vertigo and Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a distinct subtype of vertigo, characterized by brief and intense episodes of dizziness.

Symptoms of BPPV

  1. Vertiginous Sensations: a spinning sensation is the hallmark symptom of BPPV and is often triggered by changing the positions of the head including looking up/down or getting out of bed. These episodes often last between 10-30 seconds.
  2. Nausea and Disorientation: The persistent spinning associated with BPPV can induce nausea, adding a layer of discomfort and disorientation.
  3. Impaired Balance: BPPV commonly manifests with a temporary loss of balance, making routine activities such as walking or standing more challenging.
  4. Nystagmus: involuntary eye movements often accompany dizzy episodes.

What Causes BPPV?

BPPV is a type of vertigo caused by the displacement of minute calcium crystals within the inner ear known as canaliths. The displacement of these particles disrupts the regular fluid dynamics of the inner ear, leading to sensations of vertigo.

Treatment Options

There are a range of treatment options for BPPV which our practitioners will prescribe depending upon the severity of a patient’s symptoms.

Some of the treatments may include:

  1. Epley Maneuver: a series of head movements performed under the guidance of a healthcare professional. It aims to reposition canaliths within the inner ear to alleviate symptoms and restore equilibrium.
  2. Brandt-Daroff Exercises: these exercises involve a series of movements that you can do at home to help adapt your body to the positional changes triggering vertigo.
  3. Pharmacological Intervention: anti-vertigo drugs may be considered in specific cases to manage symptoms however, this is often in conjunction with other treatments.
  4. Lifestyle Modifications: implementing changes in daily activities and living spaces, such as incorporating grab bars or avoiding sudden head movements, can contribute to the overall management of BPPV.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo poses unique and difficult challenges, but with a treatment plan developed in consultation with our practitioners, individuals can reclaim control of their health. If you find yourself caught up in the dizzying world of vertigo, get in touch with Healthwise and seek guidance from our healthcare professionals.

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