Seeing a physiotherapist trained in treating BPPV is the best course of treatment.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common vestibular condition. It mainly affects people over the age of 50, but can affect younger age groups.
It occurs when calcium crystals in one part of the inner ear move to another part of the inner ear causing a feeling of ‘spinning’ vertigo. Nausea is also a common symptom. The reason for these crystals moving is often unknown.
Although symptoms of BPPV can be quite debilitating, the condition is not serious. Symptoms are of short duration and always brought on by a particular head movement, such as when rolling over in bed, looking up or bending down to pick something up.
Seeing a physiotherapist trained in treating BPPV is the best course of treatment. Treatment involves the physiotherapist performing a series of head movements that aim to return the calcium crystals back to their original place in the inner ear. Once this has occurred all symptoms should fully resolve. The individual may require anywhere between 1 to 5 physiotherapy sessions. Vestibular rehabilitation exercises may also be required for some individuals. These exercises involve a series of tasks and exercises that focus on improving balance and reducing dizziness or vertigo symptoms in people with a vestibular/inner ear problem.
These exercises are usually prescribed and monitored by a physiotherapist that has had specific training in vestibular rehabilitation. Often, a doctor may refer a patient for this type of rehabilitation.