BPPV is a common condition resulting in vertigo, dizziness, loss of balance, light headedness and nausea.
BPPV is due to displacement of the small crystals from the vestibule of the inner ear into the semicircular canals, most commonly the posterior canal. The exact cause of BPPV is unclear but may be linked to ear or head injury, virus, post-surgery or degeneration of the inner ear. BPPV is characterised by sudden vertigo (dizziness) with rolling over in bed, getting out of bed and lifting the head to look upward.
BPPV is diagnosed via a procedure known as the Dix-Hallpike Test. This test may reproduce your symptoms of dizziness, but is essential in confirming that your symptoms are due to BPPV.
Physiotherapy treatment of BPPV involves repositioning the crystal particles via a series of movements known as the Epley maneuver. This involves sequential movement of the head into four positions, staying in each position for approximately 30 seconds. An immediate reduction of vertigo symptoms is seen in 80% or more of cases and only 2-3 treatments should be required. Your physiotherapist will instruct you on how to perform this procedure at home, along with practical guidelines for avoiding an aggravation of vertigo symptoms.
Please contact your physiotherapist if you have any additional queries regarding BPPV.