Table of contents:
- Recognizing the Symptoms of BPPV
- Various Causes of BPPV
- Multiple Tests to Diagnose BPPV
- How to Prevent and Overcome BPPV
BPPV is one of the most common causes of relapsing vertigo. This condition often strikes suddenly and makes the sufferer feel as if the room around him is spinning
BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a disorder of the inner ear. This condition is usually triggered by a change in head position that is specific to each person.
Although generally harmless and lasts a relatively short time, BPPV is recurrent. In some people, this can seriously interfere with daily activities.
Recognizing the Symptoms of BPPV
When vertigo caused by BPPV strikes, the symptoms can vary from person to person. Even so, there are some common symptoms, including:
- The room around feels like it's spinning or moving
- Loss of balance
In addition to the above symptoms, sometimes BPPV attacks are also accompanied by abnormal eye movements (nystagmus).
Recurrence of BPPV symptoms is triggered by changes in head position. Examples of head position movements that can cause BPPV attacks are:
- Lie down
- Reverse body position
- Rolling in bed
- Heading, lowering or tilting movements
- Fast head movement
- Being in the same position for a long time, such as in the office or lying down in the salon
- High-intensity aerobic exercise
- Head shaking while riding a bicycle on rough trails
BPPV can also occur while standing or walking and cause loss of balance. This can increase the sufferer's risk of falling, which can be dangerous if it occurs during certain activities. People with a history of BPPV may also be more prone to motion sickness.
Various Causes of BPPV
Basically, BPPV occurs due to structural abnormalities in the inner ear. The exact cause of this disorder is not known. However, some cases report that BPPV can occur after a light to hard blow to the head.
Although rare, BPPV can also be caused by an injury to ear surgery. In addition, the following factors can also increase a person's risk of developing BPPV:
- Over 50 years old
- Have had an accident that caused a head injury
- Experiencing certain types of migraine
- Has an inner ear disorder, such as Meniere's disease
Multiple Tests to Diagnose BPPV
To diagnose the condition of BPPV, a number of examinations by a doctor are required. Before carrying out the examination, the doctor will ask about your general he alth and the symptoms you are experiencing.
During a physical examination, your doctor may direct you to perform some movements that change the position of your head. After that, the doctor will observe the reaction you feel, whether it is in the form of nystagmus or a sense of spinning. This will help the doctor to determine the diagnosis of BPPV.
Some additional examinations may also need to be done if the physical examination is not sufficient. These checks include:
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), to help rule out other causes that can also cause vertigo
- Electronystagmography (ENG) or videonystagmography (VNG), to see how the eye reacts to things that might trigger vertigo symptoms
How to Prevent and Overcome BPPV
After undergoing a doctor's examination, you still need to do some things to prevent or reduce BPPV attacks. Here are the things you need to do:
- Always be careful when walking. Stop if you feel you lose your balance so you don't fall.
- Sit down immediately if you feel your head spinning.
- Use good lighting just in case you wake up at night.
If BPPV recurs, you can take the following steps before seeing a doctor:
- Avoid sleeping on the side that often causes dizziness.
- Sleep with 2 or more pillows under your head.
- Elevate your head slowly when you wake up in the morning and sit on the side of the bed for a while before standing up.
- Avoid bending over to pick something up.
Although BPPV is a harmless condition and often goes away on its own, consult a doctor immediately if you experience severe dizziness, recurring for more than a week, or accompanied by fever, double vision, hearing loss, difficulty speaking, difficulty walking, or even fainting.