Understanding BPPV: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) affects millions of peopleworldwide. Living with BPPV can be incredibly frustrating. Simple tasks like getting out of bed, bending over, or turning your head can trigger vertigo. Theconstant fear of falling and the inability to engage in normal daily activities take a toll on your mental and emotional well-being. Don’t let BPPV take control of your life. Let’s explore important information that can help youunderstand this condition better and find ways to treat it.
What is BPPV?
BPPV is a common inner ear condition that affects balance and causesepisodes of dizziness or vertigo. Individuals who have BPPV may experience intense spinning or vertigo when they make certain head movements, such as rolling over in bed or tilting their heads backward. BPPV is not life-threatening and does not worsen over time. It is relatively common, particularly among women and older adults, but can affect individuals of any age.
What Causes BPPV?
The inner ear consists of semicircular canals filled with fluid. Thesecanals are extremely sensitive to fluid movement, which helps your brain determine your body’s position to maintain balance. When calcium carbonatecrystals in the membranous labyrinth move into the wrong part of the ear canal and build up, they disrupt the flow and send confusing signals to the brain. This results in loss of balance, dizziness, and nausea.
BPPV can also occur spontaneously without any identifiable cause. However, the following may also trigger an attack:
● Mild or severe head injury
● High-intensity aerobics
● Keeping head in the same position for an extended period
● Inner ear infections
● Family members with BPPV
● High cholesterol
● History of stroke
● High blood pressure
Understanding the potential causes of BPPV can help individuals take preventive measures or seek appropriate treatment.
Symptoms of BPPV
The main symptom of BPPV is vertigo; however, it can be accompanied by the following:
● Loss of balance
● Hearing loss
● Vomiting and nausea
● Rapid eye movements
● Blurred vision
● Sudden spinning sensation that lasts a few seconds or minutes when moving your head
Diagnosis of BPPV
If you’re experiencing the symptoms above, your healthcare provider will do a series of physical tests and assess your medical history.
The Dix-Hallpike test is also used to diagnose BPPV and check for rapid eye movements. During the Hallpike exam, the patient sits upright, and the head is rotated 45° and swiftly laid on their back. These sudden movements trigger vertigo if the patient has BPPV. Around 80% of patients don’t experience BPPV symptoms after 3-4 treatments.
Although symptoms can come back, research shows a relatively low recurrence rate of about 15% per year.
If the result of the test is inconclusive, your healthcare provider may run a series of other tests to rule out other conditions, including:
● CT scan
● Electroencephalogram (ENG)
● Electronystagmography (EEG)
● MRI scan
● Magnetic resonance angiography
● Hearing test
Treatment of BPPV
The good news is that BPPV is generally treatable, with several effective methods available.
The Epley Manoeuvre is the most effective treatment for BPPV. It involves head movements to help reposition the canals in your inner ear.
The Semont Manoeuvre helps remove calcium deposits in the semicircular canal to alleviate vertigo symptoms. You will lay on your side, with the affected ear facing upwards, and quickly move to the opposite side without changing your head’s position.
Medications aren’t typically used to treat BPPV. However, antihistamines or anticholinergics may reduce dizziness, vomiting, and nausea. Keep in mind that these medications often do not work well for treating vertigo.
Can BPPV Go Away on Its Own?
In most cases, BPPV goes away on its own after several weeks or months before the symptoms subside. If symptoms worsen over time, your healthcare provider may suggest treatments to alleviate the symptoms. It’s also w that BPPV can come back without a warning.
How Do You Prevent BPPV Attacks?
Dealing with and managing the symptoms of BPPV can be frustrating. Not to mention, severe symptoms can greatly affect your day-to-day activities. The thing is, you can’t prevent BPPV. However, there are several ways to manage BPPV attacks:
● Understand your triggers and be cautious with your head movements
● Exercise to improve balance
● Maintain a good posture
● Take vitamin D
● Reduce stress
Can a Chiropractor Help with BPPV?
Chiropractors can diagnose BPPV by performing neurological and physical tests, such as the Dix-Halpike manoeuvre. When experiencing BPP symptoms, chiropractic treatment may not be the first option that comes to mind. However, chiropractic offers potential benefits in treating BPPV and vertigo.
Realigning the Spine
Spinal adjustments also help to eliminate the accumulation of debris in the vestibulocochlear apparatus of the inner ear, which is responsible for maintaining balance in the body. Removing this buildup of calcium particles can restore balance and further alleviate vertigo symptoms. Numerous studies have demonstrated that consistent chiropractic care can effectively eliminate vertigo.
Improves Overall Health
Since the spine and central nervous system work together, a healthy spine can improve overall health and bodily function. Regular visits to a Chiro-Med chiropractor can help you with various health issues, including vertigo.
Eliminating Nerve Interference
Misalignments of the spine can lead to nerve interference that disrupts proper signal transmission to the brain. During spinal adjustment, this is prevented and improves vertigo symptoms.
Many individuals have sought assistance with their vertigo by using medication or undergoing surgery, but these methods often have unwanted side effects. Instead of resorting to invasive procedures, consider giving chiropractic care a try. It’s worth noting that chiropractic is unsuitable for all types of dizziness.
Experience Relief from BPPV Today!
At Chiro-Med, we have treated patients suffering from BPPV. Our experienced chiropractors understand the complexities of this condition and have developed a specialized treatment plan to address it effectively. Our chiropractic treatment for BPPV focuses on repositioning the displaced calcium crystals in your inner ear, which are the root cause of vertigo episodes.
Contact our clinic today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards overcoming BPPV.