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Dizziness/Vertigo

Dizziness/Vertigo

BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO

Benign positional vertigo is a condition in which a person develops a sudden sensation of spinning, usually when moving the head. It is the most common cause of vertigo.

Causes, and risk factors

Benign positional vertigo is due to a disturbance within the inner ear. The inner ear has fluid-filled tubes called semicircular canals. The canals are very sensitive to movement of the fluid, which occurs as you change position. The fluid movement allows your brain to interpret your body’s position and maintain your balance.

Benign positional vertigo develops when a small piece of bone-like calcium breaks free and floats within the tube of the inner ear. This sends the brain confusing messages about your body’s position.

There are no major risk factors. However, the condition may partly run in families. A prior head injury (even a slight bump to the head) or an inner ear infection called labyrinthitis may make some people more likely to develop the condition.

Symptoms

People with this condition feel as though they are spinning or moving, or that the world is spinning around them. They may experience:

  • Nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and a loss of balance
  • Vision problems, such as a feeling that things are jumping or moving

The spinning sensation:

  • Is usually triggered by moving the head
  • Often starts suddenly
  • Lasts a few seconds to minutes

Most often, patients say the spinning feeling is triggered when they roll over in bed or tilt their head up to look at something.

Our doctors will help to diagnose if this is the cause of your symptoms and rule out other possible causes including ear infections and other inner ear disorders. Treatment consists of a maneuver designed to reposition the calcium deposits thus eliminating the vertigo sensation.