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BPPV: Explained

BPPV - Benign Paroxymal Positional Vertigo

What it is, how long it takes to recover & how we treat it

The semicircular canals in the inner ear are responsible for sensing where we are. They are filled with endolymph fluid and hairs cells, with movement the fluid passes over the hair cells and stimulates them, which tells the vestibular nerve that we have moved.

The Utricle which is beside them, contains otoconia which are made of bicarbonate crystals, these normally, degenerate and replenish themselves like our skin and hair.

Sometimes if you are unlucky ( there is no way to prevent this from happening ) a little clump of crystals fall off and fall into the posterior semicircular canal. Now when you move a certain way - usually lying down, turning in bed, looking up or down, the crystals hit off the hair cells and overstimulate them causing the spinning sensation that you are experiencing.

Some people say that it will go away itself and yes it will, eventually... but why suffer? for weeks or months, when you can resolve this issue in 1-2 sessions, easily & quickly.

The technique The Epley Maneuvre can be performed in one session and successfully move the crystals out of the semicircular canal into the vestibule where they will dissolve as they should do over the next 24-48 hours.

You may feel sick for the rest of the day as we have over stimulated the vestibular system, this will pass. Rest well.

We will review you in one week to re-assess you and make sure all crystals are gone. If they are not we will repeat the manuevre until they are gone. In rare circumstances it can take 2-3 sessions. When you are clear we will assess your balance and vestibular system to make sure it is working perfectly, if not we will give you an exercise program to work on bringing it back to full health and get you back to a dizzy free life.

Can it come back again, yes it can, but rarely, but there is nothing you can do to prevent it. Next time you know what it is and you know what to do and where we are.

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