Dizziness or Vertigo due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is fairly common but can feel debilitating. It can be difficult to walk, stand or sit without dizziness or sometimes nausea. It is caused by a piece of crystal in your inner ear coming loose and positioning itself incorrectly. The good news is that it is a relatively harmless safe condition and it can be effectively treated with certain exercises.
The first step to treatment is a visit to your doctor to diagnose the condition. Your doctor may even be able to treat you by performing the Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre. If you doctor can’t perform the maneuvre, be sure that they diagnose which ear is affected and visit a physiotherapist that can perform the maneuvre for you.
The Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre
The Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre puts the patient in a series of positions in order to encourage the crystal to float back to its normal place in the inner ear.
The Epley Maneuvre:
– pillow under back to give 30 degrees extension of the head
– Start facing the affected side. Face left if the left ear is affected
– wait 30 seconds after symptoms subside to change positions
The general procedure is:
- lie on your back with a pillow under your shoulders. Your head is 45 degrees rotated towards affected ear and 30 degrees extended
- head is 45 degrees rotated away from the affected ear and 30 degrees extended
- roll onto your side away from the affected ear with your head rotated so that you are looking at the floor
- come up to a seated position and look straight ahead
– Do not sleep flat for 2 days. This can be done by sleeping in a reclining chair at an angle of about 45 degrees.
– For one week try to avoid moving your head in ways that might provoke another reaction. Avoid the hairdresser, sports, looking up or down while working.
It is quite slow and gentle as you can see in the following videos. This first video shows the Epley Maneuvre for BPP Vertigo of the left ear:
The next video shows the Epley Maneuvre for BPP Vertigo of the right ear
Brandt-Daroff Repositioning/Habituation Exercises
After you are treated, you can do the Brandt-Daroff Repositioning/Habituation Exercises at home on your own. The following video explains the Brandt-Daroff Exercises:
Hopefully these exercises will help you get your life back to normal. A word of caution: This condition often reoccurs after a few years and treatment may need to be repeated.