What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo or benign paroxysmal vertigo is a balance disorder that is attributed to the problems in the inner ear. People with this condition usually feel like they are spinning around and bouts of extreme dizziness associated with changing the position of the head. This is a fairly benign condition although it can be troublesome and can increase the risk of injury due to falls.

Causes of benign paroxysmal vertigo

The primary cause of benign paroxysmal vertigo or BPV lies somewhere in the inner ear. A tiny organ in the inner ear called vestibular labyrinth contain fluid and fine hair-like sensors that monitors head rotation. There is also the otolith organs inside the ear that monitors head movement and position. These organs may contain crystals that are sensitive to movement.

There are cases when the crystals in the otolith organs are displaced and find themselves moving into the areas where they affect the way the brain determines head movement, making a person feel dizzy.

Symptoms of benign paroxysmal vertigo

Symptoms of the condition include dizziness that might occur suddenly when a person suddenly stands up or changes head position. A familiar experience for people with vertigo is the sense that the surroundings are spinning uncontrollably. And because of this, people can feel lightheaded and may loss their sense of balance. Extreme dizziness can sometimes lead to nausea and vomiting.

How benign paroxysmal vertigo is diagnosed?

Doctors would do certain tests in order to determine vertigo by finding out the cause of the dizziness. A physical exam may be on hand where the doctor may check for symptoms of dizziness caused by certain eye or head movements. If a physical exam fails to find the cause of the condition, doctors may then consider taking MRI scans or electrosyntagmography that will help detect abnormal eye movement.

How to treat benign paroxysmal vertigo?

One of the treatments used to help people with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the canalith repositioning procedure. This is composed of doing several simple and slow maneuvers that aims to move unwanted particles in the inner ear that affects balance. There are also surgical procedures available that may help treat the condition if other types of treatment prove to be unsuccessful.