What is Vertigo
Vertigo is the sensation of feeling unbalanced or dizzy, often including room spinning, loss of balance, or nausea. Episodes may last from a few minutes to hours, or even days. Many people experience dizziness or vertigo every day. While there are many different types of vertigo, one of the most common is BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). The diagnosis of BPPV has increased in recent years, as awareness and knowledge of this condition has grown.
So What is BPPV?
BPPV is related to head movement or position. When you move, there are “crystals” in your inner ear, which stimulate nerves which then tell your brain where you are at in space. These crystals are located in 3 different canals, each responding differently to the direction and speed of movement. The brain then uses all this info to determine where you are at in space and where you’re moving. Sometimes, these crystals become dislodged and float within then canal. Floating crystals and can send random signals that conflict with what your eyes, inner ear, and brain are telling you. This conflicting information causes vertigo.
Diagnosis & Treatment
BPPV can be diagnosed by your Primary care provider, ENT specialist, or Physical Therapist. A series of movement related tests will determine if your vertigo is BPPV, or another vertigo related diagnosis such as Vestibular Neuritis or Meniere’s disease. We can then determine a treatment plan or if a specialist referral is required.
Treatment for BPPV is easily done in clinic, and the effects can be felt immediately, with a series of specified maneuvers, based on your diagnosis. Sometimes additional treatments are required to help retrain or desensitizing your vestibular system.
Episodes of vertigo often lead to loss of balance and falls. The balance system is composed of the inner ear, vision, and proprioception from your joints and muscles. If one of these 3 systems is compromised you will be more at risk for falling. If you’ve been suffering from vertigo or dizziness for a long time, or experiencing a sudden onset of vertigo, come see us at Premier Therapy for Vestibular Rehab. We can help get you back to living your normal, dizzy free, life.