There are several forms of vertigo but if you suffer from Benign Paroxismal Positional Vertigo ( BPPV) , the most common form , there is help. There are test maneuvers to determine if you have this form of vertigo as well as treatment techniques to help correct it.
Vertigo is the sensation that you are spinning or that the inside of your head is spinning. In the case of BPPV it is a disorder arising in the inner ear and leads to recurrent episodes of “Vertigo” with changes in head position. We have calcium crystals within the inner ear which may become dislodged from their normal position (the utricle in the inner ear) and migrate into the semicircular canals. This disrupts the normal fluid displacement within our inner ear sending confusing messages to the brain when we change head positions resulting in the sensation of “Vertigo”. Most often the cause is not known though sometimes it may be the result of a minor blow to the head. It most commonly occurs in those over 60 years of age.
Many people, athletes in particular, who have suffered from a concussion due to a blow to the head, may experience residual dizziness with movement. Most are told this is a result of the concussion and will take time to resolve. It may in fact be BPPV, the crystals becoming dislodged due to the same impact that caused the concussion, and be very treatable.
Other forms of Vertigo are motion sickness, Meniere’s disease, labyrinthitis, and migraines. Unfortunately these forms are not as easily addressed.
Signs and symptoms of BPPV are sudden onset of brief episodes of spinning dizziness which usually lasts 30 seconds to 2 minutes and are triggered by change of head position. Most notably looking overhead or rolling over in bed. There could be nausea or visual disturbances present as well. One may also experience the sensation of being out of balance while walking or standing. BPPV is an extremely distress condition while the episodes last and the fact there is treatment available is good news.
If you suspect you suffer from BPPV contact someone experienced in the assessment and treatment of vestibular disorders. This could include specialists in neurological conditions and ENTs or specially trained physiotherapists, like the ones at Keystone Physiotherapy.