SEATTLE — According to the National Institue of Health, Vertigo is one of the most common disorders causing dizziness. If you're prone to vertigo it can be difficult to go about daily life when the world just won't stop spinning.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional (BPP) Vertigo can happen out of the blue without an identifiable cause. " I think it's important to know that it's a symptom it's not really a diagnosis," explains Dr. Constantine Palaskas, an ENT doctor with the Swedish Balance Center, "There are several things that could cause it."
It's a benign type of Vertigo that happens after a bump on the head, a concussion, or as a result of other inner ear disorders. It happens in short bursts and can be provoked when you hold your head in a certain position
It's triggered when crystals in the otolithic membrane of the ear somehow make their way over into the balance canals of the ear.
"All of a sudden, not only does that canal tell your brain how you're rotating your head, but it also is now sensitive to gravity, "Explains Dr. Palaskas,"When those crystals fall down that canal, your brain tries to adjust your eyes and what you perceive is the room spinning around".
Sometimes, patients are prescribed medications like Marquesa or Dramamine in order to treat it, but the best thing to do, says Dr. Palaskas, is to get the crystals out of the balance canals. This is done by manipulating the head in a certain way, "Usually this is done by a physical therapist or someone that's trained and doing this series of maneuvers to transition that that little clump of debris out of that canal back into the area."
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is fairly easy to diagnose due to its specific characteristics, but if you experience other symptoms in association like facial weakness, arm weakness, or slurring of speech, it could be something more significant.
It's more common to occur in women than men, and Dr. Palaskas says that if you're over 40, there's a pretty good chance you may experience it in your lifetime.