Part 1 of this article about vertigo talks about the cause of positional vertigo, a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV occurs when small crystals in one part of the inner ear balance system (The Vestibular System) gets into another part of the vestibular system. (1)(2)(3)
The good news is the condition is completely treatable in the vast majority of cases. (4)(5)(6(7)(8) The treatment is a series of repositioning maneuvers that remove the crystals from where they are not supposed to be. The maneuvers are best performed by a trained and experienced specialist.(8)(9)(10) These individuals are trained to accurately evaluate (11) and treat this condition to get rid of BPPV completely.(12)
What To Do About Positional Vertigo?
If you experience vertigo, contact your doctor. While rare, the symptom of vertigo can be caused by life-threatening reasons, not BPPV,(13)(14)(15) so the symptoms should not be ignored.
Then ask your doctor about seeing a vestibular specialist who will be able to accurately evaluate,(11) treat,(12) and screen for more serious conditions.(16) While it is true BPPV sometimes goes away on its own,(9)(10) people often live with this for years,(12) remain undiagnosed in the current healthcare system and end up seeing many specialists.(7)(17) Even worse, many receive unnecessary medications and imaging(8)(17)(18)(19)(20)(21) which becomes very expensive.(19)(20)(21)
BPPV can be very debilitating and can result in people avoiding many parts of their lives including work, driving, and even leaving the house.(8)(17) For older people, BPPV increases the risk of falls and fractures.(22)
How To Prevent Vertigo?
We are now learning there are ways to reduce the risk of BPPV in the first place. Scientists are now seeing a big connection with BPPV and bone health(23)(24)(25)(26) and when people have a combination of medical problems.(27)(28) In fact, factors that by themselves determine whether someone will get vertigo are blood pressure, cholesterol, stroke, and migraine.(17)
So working on your health pays off.
Like many things, we are now learning that eating well, exercising, and inquiring with your doctor about your bone health could pay big dividends when thinking about maintaining independence as you get older and preventing dizziness and vertigo.
If you are feeling symptoms of dizziness/vertigo, and you and your doctor have not figured out the cause, or suspect the problem is inner ear balance related, ask your doctor if a Vestibular Specialist would be right for you to figure out the cause of your dizziness or vertigo.
And in the meantime, keep exercising, moving, and living life.
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Health Advice Disclaimer
We make every effort to ensure that we accurately represent the injury advice and prognosis displayed throughout this blog. However, examples of conditions and their prognosis are based on typical representations of those conditions that we commonly see in physical therapy. The information given is not intended as representations of every individual’s potential condition. As with any injury, each person’s symptoms can vary widely and each person’s recovery can also vary depending upon background, genetics, previous medical history, psychological status and history, motivation to follow physical therapy advice and various other factors.
It is impossible to give a 100% complete accurate diagnosis and prognosis without a thorough physical examination and likewise the advice given cannot be deemed fully accurate in the absence of this examination from a vestibular specialist.
Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied in this blog.
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