Dizziness, also known as vertigo, is a disturbance of equilibrium making you feel off-balance, “woozy,” moving, or spinning. Although there are many types and causes of dizziness, we will discuss one of the more common types of dizziness known as “positional vertigo.”
Positional vertigo, or more technically called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, is a type of dizziness that occurs when small calcium particles inside the inner ear get dislodged. This results in confusing messages being sent to the brain about your body’s position. A prior head injury (even a slight bump to the head) or an inner ear infection make some people more likely to develop this condition.
Episodes typically occur when moving the head or changing positions, such as going to lie down, rolling over in bed, or tilting the head backwards to look up. These bouts of spinning can last a few seconds to a few minutes and if they are severe can also cause nausea.
Medical doctors commonly prescribe motion sickness drugs such as Antivert or Dramamine, but according to PubMed Health these medicines often do not work very well for treating vertigo. They also do not correct the displaced calcium particles which is the underlying cause of the problem.
The most effective treatment for positional vertigo is a procedure we use called the “Epley’s maneuver.” This treatment, which involves a series of head movements, restores the displaced calcium particles to their normal position inside the inner ear. This treatment eliminates the spinning sensations and in approximately 80 percent of cases, it is corrected in only one treatment. This simple and effective treatment is performed without drugs or the need for expensive medical testing.
We help people with positional vertigo every day. If you or someone you know is suffering from positional vertigo or other dizziness symptoms, contact our office to see if we can help.