Benign paroxysmal vertigo

Benign paroxysmal vertigo /BPS/ is one of the most common causes of dizziness – the sudden feeling that the space around you is spinning or your head is spinning inside.

DPS is characterized by short bouts of mild to severe vertigo.

Symptoms are triggered by specific changes in head position, such as turning the head up or down, or when going very suddenly from lying down to standing.

Although DPS can be very annoying, it is rarely serious, except that it increases the risk of losing balance and falling and thus injury.

What are the symptoms?

• Dizziness;
• Feeling that the affected person is spinning or the space around them is moving /vertigo/;
• Vertigo;
• Unsteadiness;
• Loss of balance;
• Blurred vision associated with feeling dizzy;
• Nausea and vomiting;

In most cases, attacks of DPS last less than a minute, and it is possible for symptoms to reappear after they subside.

Activities that trigger the condition vary from person to person, but almost always result from a change in head position.

Abnormal rhythmic eye movements /nystagmus/ usually accompany DPS symptoms.

When to seek medical help?

Consult with your GP if you experience vertigo intermittently for more than 1 week.

Although dizziness is unlikely to be a sign of a serious illness, seek medical attention immediately if you experience dizziness accompanied by any of the following symptoms:

• Very severe headache that you have never felt before;
• Body temperature above 38 degrees Celsius;
• Double vision or loss of vision;
• Difficulty speaking;
• Feeling of weakness in the limbs;
• Loss of consciousness;
• Sudden falling and difficulty walking;
• Stiffness or numbness;
• Chest pain or fast or slow heart rate;

What are the causes?

In about half of the cases, doctors do not find a cause for the condition. And in other cases, vertigo is associated with a minor or very severe blow to the head.

Among the less common causes are disease or surgery that damages the inner ear. Vertigo is also associated with migraines.

What are the complications?
DPS very rarely causes complications. In rare cases, when the vertigo attacks are too severe, those affected are at risk of dehydration due to the too frequent vomiting.

Treatment of benign paroxysmal vertigo

Initially, treatment is carried out through several procedures to reposition the otoliths. This is achieved through a few simple movements of the head.

The goal is to move fluid particles from the labyrinth in the inner ear into the vestibule, which is one of the otoliths, where they do not cause balance problems and dizziness and are very easily reabsorbed.

Head is held in one position for 30 seconds after symptoms or abnormal eye movements stop.

Usually 1-2 procedures are effective enough to achieve an effect.

If you experience dizziness due to the condition, keep the following in mind:

• You must be aware of the possibility of falling and serious injury;
• Sit down as soon as you feel dizzy;
• Walk with a cane if you are likely to have a seizure ;
• If you get up at night, it is necessary to provide good lighting in the rooms you pass through.
DPS can repeat even after successful therapy.

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