Vertigo, is a severe symptom that comes without warning and causes panic and disorientation.
During episodes of vertigo the patient feels unable to perform any activity, often having to lie down until the end of the episode and then feeling drowsy and tired.
Meniere’s disease, vestibular neuritis, and benign paroxysmal vertigo are the most common causes vertigo and balance disorder.
BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo and can happen to anyone regardless of gender or age.
It is a severe short-term vertigo after a sharp head movement accompanied by strong a spinning sensation. Often, it may be accompanied by nausea, headache, tendency to vomit but no tinnitus or hearing loss. It takes about 30 to 60 seconds, during which the patient feels helpless due to the strong rotating sensation and balance disorder.
The otolith organs in the ear monitor movements of the head — up and down, right and left, back and forth — and the head’s position related to gravity. These otolith organs contain crystals that make us sensitive to gravity. BPPV occurs when these carbonate crystals, or otoconia, that sit in a gravity-sensing part of the ear become dislodged and move to the fluid-filled, motion-sensing semicircular canals.
Vertigo and Balance
If enough otoconia accumulate in any of the canals, it can disrupt the fluid movement the canals use to detect head motion.
Vertigo is diagnosed by the otolaryngologist with a thorough clinical examination and auditory evaluation. A series of tests are also performed, to determine the cause of the dizziness.
No medication is needed for the treatment of BPPV. Only special canalith repositioning procedures may restore the otoliths in their correct position.
The type of canalith repositioning procedures are determined by the otolaryngologist depending on the site of the pathology. These procedures have an impressive and immediate effect on the elimination of the uncomfortable symptoms of vertigo.
However, as many as 50% of people experience a return of symptoms within 5 years. The earlier and more thorough BPPV treatment occurs the more successful the outlook is in the long-term.