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Benign Positional Vertigo

Benign positional vertigo is characterized by short lasting spinning dizziness caused by certain head movements.

Symptoms

The spinning dizziness in benign positional vertigo comes on when patients turn their head. It most commonly occurs while patients are lying in bed and turn.

The spinning, dizzy feeling typically lasts less than one minute.

There is no associated hearing loss or tinnitus with this type of vertigo.

Causes

The inner ear balance organ is filled with fluid.

Certain areas of the inner ear balance organ contain microscopic crystals that can become loose—often from a trauma—and float in the fluids of the inner ear.

When the head is turned in a particular direction, the crystals float in the fluid and cause a ripple effect similar to a rock thrown in water.

This movement of fluids causes stimulation in the inner ear, which leads to a sensation of motion and thus dizziness. The spinning stops as the movement of the crystals and the fluid through the inner ear stops.

Treatment

Benign positional vertical can usually be corrected by performing an office procedure called an Epley maneuver.

In this maneuver, you are seated on an exam table and a physician turns your head halfway in the direction of the worst vertigo. You are then quickly guided back so your shoulders rest on the exam table and your head hangs over the edge. You are held in this position for about 30 seconds until the vertigo stops.

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Make an Appointment

714-456-7017