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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Treatment, symptoms, advice and help

About benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is one of the common problems encountered in which an individual experiences episodes of vertigo coupled with other associated features. As the name suggests, it is a benign and harmless disorder which may aggravate in some particular positions of the head.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Incidence, age and sex

There seems to be a high incidence of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in older individuals. However, it may be encountered in other individuals too.

Signs and symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Diagnosis

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is characterised by very short episodes of vertigo, which is a sensation of spinning of the surroundings. Nausea, vomiting and headache may be some co-existing features. Occasionally, a person with vertigo may experience loss of balance. This disorder is variable in its course. It may be lifelong or may decline with time. Examination by a specialist reveals rhythmic movements of the eye called nystagmus.

Causes and prevention of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

The ear is not only responsible for hearing but also for maintaining the balance in an individual. Some conditions like labyrinthitis, age related degeneration, ear surgery or ear infections may disrupt the membranes or bones in inner ear leading to disturbance in sensing the balance. This results in vertigo.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Complications

There seems to be no serious health related complications of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. However it may be quite distressing for the affected person. Moreover it may affect the balance in elderly persons, resulting in falls or injuries.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo: Treatment

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a self limiting condition which usually requires no treatment. But in some individuals, associated features like nausea and vomiting may be severe and need relevant drugs to alleviate them. Occasionally the doctor may conduct ‘Canalith repositioning procedure’ which helps in correct positioning of the head and prevent vertigo. Surgical intervention seldom plays a role in management of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.