Recurrent Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Recurrent Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common vestibular disorder and the most common cause of vertigo. It is a mechanical problem in the inner ear, in which some of the calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) that are normally embedded in the utricle gel become dislodged and migrate into one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semicircular canals. If enough of them accumulate, it interferes with normal fluid movement that is used to sense head motion. This causes the inner ear to send false signals to the brain.
BPPV comes in sudden, brief spells, is triggered by certain head positions or movements, and causes a false sense of rotational movement. These dizzy spells usually last less than a minute. Between episodes, some people don’t experience any symptoms while others feel a mild imbalance.
BPPV can be treated with medication to control dizziness and nausea. In some cases, your doctor may recommend surgical or mechanical options.
Canalith Repositioning Maneuvers use gravity to guide the crystals back to the chamber where they are supposed to be, using very specific head movements. In some cases, the Liberatory Maneuver is used, in which rapid head movements dislodge stuck crystals and guide them into the proper chamber.