Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is common inner ear disorder in which changes in the position of the head lead to sudden vertigo – a feeling that the room is spinning. The vertigo sensation can range from mild to severe and usually lasts only seconds to a few minutes. It may be accompanied by other symptoms, including lightheadedness, nausea, and vomiting.

Inside your inner ear are three small structures called semicircular canals. They help you sense motion and keep your balance. BPPV happens when a tiny crystal of calcium breaks free from the wall of one of these canals and moves into the canal. That can cause vertigo or make you feel like you’re moving when you’re not.

About half of all people over age 65 suffer an episode of BPPV.  BPPV can come from injury, infection, or advanced age.  Movements that can bring about an episode of BPPV include:

  • Rolling over or sitting up in bed;
  • Bending the head forward to look down, or;
  • Tipping the head backward.

BPPV is not a sign of a serious problem, and often disappears on its own within 6 weeks. To help relieve symptoms sooner, BPPV can be treated with a simple in-office procedure called the Epley maneuver.  

The audiologists at Alexandria Hearing Centers can diagnose and treat BPPV.  If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with BPPV, call our office at (703) 372 -9792 today.