If you sometimes feel extreme vertigo after rolling over in bed or getting out of bed, you could suffer from Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). BPPV causes excessive dizziness and nausea at times and negatively affects your life. BPPV is behind about 20% of the episodes of dizziness in the general population and nearly 50% of the episodes among the elderly, studies show. Thankfully, an effective treatment for BPPV has been developed: the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver.
The Cause of BPPV
BPPV arises when calcium carbonate crystals (canalith) accumulate in the inner ear in an unusual place. These crystals are usually broken down by the inner ear, but when they move to a new place the proper fluids are not applied to eliminate them. As they linger in the ear canal, they negatively affect your balance and can cause extreme dizziness as the head is moved from side to side or the neck is craned to an extreme. People who suffer head injuries or an infection can also develop BPPV. As the ear ages it becomes less efficient, which is why the elderly often suffer from BPPV as well.
What to Do If You Have BPPV
If you think that you have BPPV, consult a doctor, chiropractor or rehabilitation therapist. They can determine if you have crystals lodged in your inner ear. Once BPPV has been confirmed, many health professionals have now been trained in the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver, which often eases the symptoms of BPPV or eliminates it altogether.
The Canalith Repositioning Maneuver
The Canalith Repositioning Maneuver is a simple set of movements that should first be done under the supervision of a health professional but can be repeated at home as needed on your own.
Here are the movements that comprise the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver, which repositions the “ear rocks” from one position in your ear canal to another, where they can be eliminated and no longer plague you:
- Once the ear that is causing the problem has been identified (with the help of a health professional), lay back on a flat, rigid surface and turn your head towards the affected ear with your head tilted downward over the edge of the surface. Hold for 30 seconds with your eyes open.
- Roll over to the other side towards the unaffected ear and maintain head in a slight downward tilt. Hold for 30 seconds with eyes open.
- Rise and sit in an upright position with the head tilted downward towards your neck. Hold for 30 seconds with eyes open.
- Repeat 1-2 times if necessary.
The Canalith Repositioning Maneuver – has given relief to up to 90% of BPPV sufferers. Be sure to do all of the movements slowly and under the eye of a health professional the first time. Once you have mastered the movements, you can do them each night before going to bed to ensure that BPPV does not return.