What Is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the most common causes of dizziness. It makes the patient feel that everything is spinning inside or outside the head.
What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (crystal disease) is a problem in the inner ear. It consists of sudden and brief episodes of dizziness. In that sense, this dizziness is caused by changes in position and is often accompanied by nystagmus. In general, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs when you end up in a position that triggers it.

It is also one of the most common causes of dizziness. It makes the patient feel that everything is spinning inside or outside the head. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the leading cause of dizziness in doctor consultations.

In addition, it represents up to 25% of patients who experience dizziness. It usually occurs in people between the ages of 40-50 and up to 50% of cases are due to an unknown cause.

Although it can be an annoying problem, it is rarely serious, except when it increases the likelihood of falling.

Symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

This condition causes short episodes of dizziness. These episodes can range from mild to severe. In addition, they are often triggered by specific changes in head position.

Dizziness can occur when you tilt your head up or down, when you lie down or when you turn in bed. This way you can feel the room spinning or moving. This leads to a feeling called vertigo .

Here are the other symptoms that can occur:

  • Nausea and dizziness. Both emotions usually disappear within a few seconds.
  • Nystagmus. Involuntary eye movements.
  • Inability to control eye movements.

In people over the age of 65, this condition can go unnoticed and only manifest itself with instability related to position changes. To diagnose these patients, it is important to perform a test to detect symptoms.

What causes benign paroxysmal positional vertigo?

The inner ear contains tiny calcium particles that allow you to keep your balance. As you move your head, these particles stimulate nerve cells. As a consequence, the nerve cells send a signal to the brain that indicates which direction the head is moving.

When the calcium particles are distributed abnormally through the ear canals  , nerve cells tell the brain that the head has moved more than it has actually moved. This “wrong signal” as when the brain is called dizziness.

In addition, this disorder can also be associated with aging or occur as a result of a blow to the head.

Treatment

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigol may disappear on its own within a few weeks or after a few months. However, to help relieve symptoms more quickly, you can perform Apple’s maneuver.

What is Apple’s maneuver?

This is a procedure that involves doing several simple and slow maneuvers to move the head. The goal is to move the particles in the inner ear to the vestibular labyrinth where these particles do not cause problems and are more easily taken up again.

To do this , hold each position for 30 seconds after any symptom or abnormal eye movement disappears. Apple’s maneuver is usually effective after one to two treatments.

Woman with vertigo.

Surgical alternative

In rare cases, Apple’s maneuver is not effective. In these cases, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure.

During this operation, a bone plug is used to block the part of the inner ear that causes dizziness. Thus, the plug prevents the semicircular channel of the ear from responding to particle movements or head movements in general.

Above all, the success rate is about 90%. However, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may recur, even after completion of treatment. Although there is no cure for this condition, you can check it with the help of specialists such as physiotherapists.

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