Do you experience dizzy spells and disorientation? These symptoms could be BPPV and luckily, you can treat it at home. Learn how to recognize and address this condition in a few simple steps.
Quick facts: Treating Bppv At Home
- ✅ About 55% of people with BPPV can be successfully treated in a single session at home (Source: Annals of Internal Medicine)
- ✅ Recurrence of BPPV is common and may be higher with home treatment than physician-led treatment (Source: Current Opinion in Neurology)
- ✅ Home treatment of BPPV may be more cost-effective than physician-led treatment (Source: Journal of Vestibular Research)
- ✅ Home-based treatment of BPPV can be safely and effectively done with a variety of exercises and maneuvers (Source: American Family Physician)
- ✅ Home treatment of BPPV is the preferred treatment for milder cases, especially for those who cannot get to a doctor or clinic (Source: Mayo Clinic)
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a type of vertigo or dizziness believed to be caused by a problem in the inner ear. It usually occurs when an individual changes the position of their head.
While BPPV is most commonly treated with some form of physical therapy, there are also at-home treatments that can help manage symptoms. These treatments can include a variety of maneuvers or exercises that focus on repositioning pieces of calcium carbonate from the inner ear canals. With these treatments, individuals may be able to achieve full and/or partial relief from their symptoms.
It is important to note that at-home BPPV treatments should not replace medical advice and always seek the advice of your doctor first before attempting any treatment regimen.
What is BPPV?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common type of vertigo, or a feeling of spinning. It’s caused by tiny calcium particles that become dislodged in the inner ear and move around, sending confusing signals to the brain about what’s going on with your body. It often feels like a “whirling motion” and can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
BPPV can be triggered by quick head movements or certain positions, such as rolling over in bed or looking up quickly. Treatment usually involves repositioning exercises that allow gravity to assist in moving the particles back into place. A doctor may also prescribe medications to help manage symptoms until they resolve naturally.
Causes of BPPV
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a type of vertigo that occurs when tiny calcium particles, called “crystals,” become dislodged from their normal location in the inner ear and enter into the fluid-filled semicircular canals of the inner ear. This can cause sudden feelings of dizziness and spinning when making specific head movements. BPPV can be caused by head trauma, infections, aging, or complications from ear surgery. It is important to understand the causes of BPPV in order to properly treat it.
The most common cause of BPPV is aging. As we age, our otoconia (the tiny crystals found in our ears) become less firmly attached and can more easily detach and travel into the semicircular canals. Additionally, people who have recently experienced head trauma or infection may develop BPPV as a result of the damage done to the inner ear structures.
Finally, some cases of BPPV may occur due to complications resulting from certain types of ear surgery such as:
Symptoms of BPPV
BPPV, or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, is a disorder of the inner ear that can cause dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. The main symptom of BPPV is a sensation of spinning in the head when changing positions, particularly when lying down or turning over in bed. Other symptoms include lightheadedness, unsteadiness when walking and difficulty with balance. Many people also experience nausea and vomiting associated with BPPV.
Treatment for BPPV usually involves repositioning maneuvers called the Epley and Semont maneuvers which help to move free-floating particles in the inner ear to a less sensitive area. These maneuvers may be performed at home or by a doctor or physical therapist and can bring relief from symptoms within minutes of performing them accurately.
Diagnosis of BPPV
Diagnosing Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) at home can be difficult since the symptoms of BPPV mimic those of other inner ear disorders.
To diagnose BPPV, a health care provider will typically request a detailed history of episodes, look for any associated vertigo and dizziness, and perform other relevant physical exams. An audiogram may also be done to measure hearing levels. Depending on the evaluation of these results, a physician may diagnose BPPV or refer the patient for further testing.
If a diagnosis of BPPV is made, treatment may include:
- Canalith repositioning exercises (CRPs)
- Vestibular rehabilitation therapies (VRTs)
- Medications to reduce vertigo intensity and duration.
Treatment of BPPV
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a condition caused by a sudden sensation of dizziness or spinning due to changes in the position of your head. Treatment of BPPV can often be done at home in order to reduce symptoms.
In this article, we will be looking at some ways to treat BPPV at home:
Home treatment (also known as the Epley maneuver) is the most common and effective way to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). This method involves a series of simple head and neck movements designed to move small particles in your inner ear that have become displaced, causing dizziness. Home treatment can usually be done by a patient in the comfort of their own home, with few tools needed.
In order to do home treatment, it is important to first determine which ear is affected. This can be done by performing the Dix-Hallpike maneuver or lying on your back and testing for vertigo. Next, you will need to get into position—head straight with shoulders back—and move through a series of steps:
- Turn your head slightly towards the affected ear and lie down;
- Wait 30 seconds;
- Sit up again;
- Turn your head towards the opposite shoulder;
- Wait 30 seconds;
- Turn your head slightly backwards until you are looking up at the ceiling while still lying down;
- Wait 30 seconds;
- Sit up again quickly from this position.
It is important to complete all of these steps correctly in order for it to be successful.
Medical treatment for BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, may include prescribed medications to reduce symptoms of dizziness and nausea. Patient-specific medications may be used to treat underlying conditions that contribute to the recurrence of BPPV symptoms. Medications are sometimes combined with vestibular rehabilitation therapy (VRT) which aims to improve balance and coordination as well as reduce dizziness and other BPPV symptoms.
Additionally, physical therapy may also help strengthen balance-related muscles while also helping restore any visual disturbances such as blurred vision or eye movement problems. Physical therapy can also help to reduce any associated pain with BPPV.
Surgery is rarely necessary in the treatment of BPPV and is usually only recommended in cases where the condition is significantly affecting the patient’s quality of life. Surgery may involve an inner ear procedure such as vestibular nerve sectioning or a canal wall up procedure that involves moving bones in the inner ear canal to stop the movement of particles within it.
Prevention of BPPV
Prevention of BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is the best way to reduce its symptoms. It is important to understand the factors which can increase your risk of developing this condition, so that you can make lifestyle changes to reduce your risk. For example, having a previous ear infection, being exposed to loud noises or other environmental hazards for extended periods of time, or suffering from migraines or headaches increases a person’s risk for developing BPPV.
Limiting exposure to these factors may help prevent its onset.
Other ways of prevention include:
- Avoiding head movement during activities such as dancing and stretching;
- Refraining from sleeping in certain positions (such as on one’s back); and
- Wearing protective headgear during physical activities, such as riding a bike or playing contact sports.
Additionally, people with BPPV should take breaks from activities that involve head movements when possible and practice balance exercises regularly. By following these steps, individuals can protect themselves against the onset of this condition.
The goal of treating BPPV at home without medical intervention is to relieve the symptoms as quickly and effectively as possible. While there are several at-home treatments available to help alleviate BPPV symptoms, it’s important to remember that not all of them will work for everyone. Different BPPV cases involve different amounts of debris and may require more complex treatment options from a qualified healthcare provider.
If you notice that your symptoms do not improve after trying any of the above methods, speak with your doctor about more specialized treatments for BPPV.
FAQs about: Treating Bppv At Home
Q: What is BPPV?
A: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a disorder arising from a problem in the inner ear. It is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness.
Q: How can BPPV be treated at home?
A: BPPV can be treated at home by performing a series of exercises known as the Epley maneuver. This maneuver helps to reposition the particles in the inner ear that are causing the symptoms.
Q: What should I do if the Epley maneuver does not help?
A: If the Epley maneuver does not help, you should contact your doctor. Other treatments, such as medications or physical therapy, may be necessary.