Do You Have Vertigo? What That Dizziness Could Be

Do you ever get dizzy when you lie down or are walking around?  This dizziness could be Benign Paroxysmal  Positional Vertigo (or BPPV for a much more simplified name).  Granted, vertigo, or the feeling of dizziness, can be caused by other medical conditions or even if you move too quickly and the blood doesn’t get up to the brain as quick.  This often happens if you get out of bed quickly or were bent over then stood up quickly.  BPPV is caused by a disruption in the inner ear.  The inner ear consists of a series of 3 loops called semicircular canals and there are small crystals inside of the loops called otoconia.  Otoconia are able to sense head position, speed and acceleration in order to help the body maintain balance and upright positions.  Occasionally, an otoconia becomes loose and will disrupt those senses, ultimately leading to the dizziness and feelings of nausea.

Source: http://ptclinic.com/medlibrary/images/ear_anatomy.gif

What are the symptoms of BPPV:

  • Dizziness that may or may not be associated with nausea.  Typically occurs with head turning, positional changes, or going from sitting to lying
  • Resolution of symptoms with a change in position (ie: raise the head up or sit up)
  • Involuntary eye movements called nystagmus
  • Typically a sudden onset of these symptoms (ie: you woke up one day with them)

As mentioned above, there are many other causes of these symptoms so it is important to have a full evaluation in order to determine the real reason for them.  As a side note, it is also common to have some of these symptoms following  a concussion but they also resolve with some rehab.  If you think you may have BPPV or experience any of these symptoms, it’s worthwhile to have it checked out as soon as possible since it could be resolved fairly quickly by a Physical Therapist.  It’s better than suffering through dizziness and nausea!  Treatment consists of a series of movements to essentially return the otoconia back to it’s regular location and is dependent on which of the three semicircular canals it is in.  Book an appointment with me for an evaluation if you are having these symptoms in order to resolve them quickly.  Feel free to contact me at FitandTonedWI@gmail.com if you have questions and I would be more than happy to answer them.  Hope you have a great week and do something fun over the weekend!

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