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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) usually causes dizziness, vertigo and lightheadedness, imbalance or nausea. It is associated with moving the head, often when rolling over in bed or getting up in the morning. Some people may also feel nauseous.
BPPV occurs when tiny particles break loose and fall into the wrong part of the vestibular system in the inner ear, stimulating the nerves that detect head rotation. The brain receives the message that the head is spinning, although the head has only moved position slightly. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo.
Inside the inner ear is a series of canals filled with fluid. These canals are at different angles. When the head is moved, the rolling of the fluid inside these canals tells the brain exactly how far, how fast and in what direction the head is moving.
BPPV is thought to be caused by little calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) within the canals. Usually, these crystals are held in special reservoirs within other structures of the inner ear (saccule and utricle). It is thought that injury or degeneration of the utricle may allow the ‘ear rocks’ to escape into the balance organ and interfere with the fluid flow.
We treat BPPV with positional manoeuvres aiming at moving the crystals out of the semicircular canal of the inner ear and into an area of the inner ear where they no longer cause dizziness. Later on we will teach you home exercises to improve / maintain your condition.