What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), or “loose crystals,” is a very common cause of vertigo and is due to a mechanical change in the inner ear.
When crystals become dislodged and travel into one of the semicircular canals, it disrupts the fluid creating a false sense of movement.
This is why alterations in head position such as looking up or down, lying in bed, or rolling over will cause dizziness, feeling off balance, or difficulty walking.
Studies have shown that 2 to 3 percent of the population is at risk for loose crystals.
Not all forms of vertigo come from BPPV, but it can be diagnosed and treated. A physical therapist can determine if you have BPPV.
How Is BPPV Treated?
Physical Therapy is the No. 1 treatment for BPPV. It can usually be treated with a non-invasive treatment that has very positive outcomes.
It works by allowing the free-floating particles from the affected semicircular canal to be relocated by gravity back into place, resolving vertigo approximately 90-95 percent of the time.
Once BPPV is resolved through appropriate treatment, patients will follow up with balance training tailored for inner-ear problems ensuring safe recovery.