BPPV stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Breaking this term down by each word BPPV is defined as a non-harmful, sudden onset of symptoms, dependent on positioning, that causes a sensation of whirling and loss of balance.
BPPV is a condition that affects the vestibular system. The Vesitublar system is found in each ear and provides the sense of balance and the information about body position that allows rapid compensatory movements in response to both self-induced and externally generated forces.
Typically people will experience a sudden onset of dizziness with head movement. A common story is when someone rolls over in bed and feels like the room is spinning. Symptoms will typically reside within a few minutes but can come on again at any time depending on the tilt of your head.
BPPV is caused by small crystal like formations in the inner called octaconia which become stuck in the semicircular canals. Because the octaconia is blocking the fluid that moves through the semi circular canals people experience dizziness. Why do these otaconia become stuck? This is hard to say as the reason for the onset of symptoms often tends to be random but is often experienced more often by older age groups.
Treating BPPV is one of the few quick fixes physiotherapists can provide to their patients. Once the affected canal has been identified, your physiotherapist will take you through a series of head movements to help move otaconia. Most people report their symptoms have disappeared within 3 days and often only require one or two treatment sessions.
The most commonly affected canal in BPPV in the posterior semicircular canal. To treat octaconia that have become stuck in the posterior semicircular canal the epley maneuver is a common treatment technique used.
Unfortunately, there are no known interventions to prevent BPPV from re-occurring. However, the good news is that should your symptoms come back again, patients can self-treat and are able to stop their symptoms from persisting more than they need to.
Your physio will ask you a range of questions to help identify what the cause of your dizziness symptoms might be and then conduct a series of tests to confirm the cause of your dizziness. Once this is completed. They will share with you their suspected diagnosis and treatment plan, with your consent they will then follow through their treatment plan.
We have experienced senior clinicians with one of the best equipped facilities on Auckland’s North Shore. We are part of several ACC programs, and you may be eligible to receive fully subsidised healthcare for your injury. To find out more don’t hesitate to book online or contact us on 09 5536565