WHAT IS BPPV? - MARGUERITE EMHOF, PT, DPT
What is BPPV?
BPPV stands for Benign (non-life threatening), Paroxysmal (sudden/brief), Positional (is affected by position of the head), Vertigo (false sense of spinning). It is caused by displaced crystals that are made of calcium carbonate in your inner ear. When the crystals relocate from the utricle they end up in one of the 3 fluid filled semi-circular canals. This results in false signals to be sent to the brain that results in a sense of spinning/dizziness with certain head movements and impaired balance.
If you experience constant dizziness that does not change with head movement/changing position with or without: slurred speech or difficulty speaking, weakness, difficulty coordinating your movement, hearing changes, fainting, headaches, or numbness/tingling or any other abnormal and or sudden symptoms, these are not BPPV symptoms and should be addressed immediately at the emergency room. These are signs and symptoms of other more serious life threatening neurological issues.
True diagnosed BPPV, although non-life threatening, can be very frightening and disorienting as it can come on without cause and can have a very negative impact on your life and ability to do certain activities. Fortunately for most cases BPPV is very treatable with physical therapy and in some scenarios can be resolved in 1 session!
If you suspect that you might have BPPV or a vestibular issue you should seek immediate evaluation from your primary care physician, ENT or neurologist and obtain a script for PT for an in depth neurological, vestibular/balance and cervical screen. Your physical therapist then will go over their findings and recommendations for you and your treatment.
You can set up a complimentary BPPV screen at Aquahab Physical Therapy in Newtown by calling 267.759.6575 or filling out information at https://aquaphysicaltherapy.com/request. Our therapists are certified in Vestibular Rehabilitation through the American Institute of Balance.
*Source of information: https://vestibular.org/understanding-vestibular-disorders/types-vestibular-disorders/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo