If you’ve ever experienced a feeling of spinning, you’ve experienced vertigo. Vertigo can have a number of underlying causes and can interfere with everyday life. In this case, it’s a reason to see a Doctor of Audiology so we can look at the possible causes and recommend the right course of management for you.
At NYHD, we know that balance is integral to a happy, healthy life where you’re independent and averse to injury. That’s why we can recommend the latest in treatments for balance and vertigo concerns after performing a comprehensive assessment.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a condition that affects your balance because the inner ear doesn’t function as it normally does. Normally, your inner ear houses tiny calcium crystals that press against nerve receptors when you move your head or change potions. This stimulus is then sent to the brain to be processed. This helps you keep balance and understand your position and place in the space around you. With BPPV, these crystals become dislodged from the gelatinous part of the inner ear they normally exist in. When they fall free, they can migrate to a different part of the inner ear. Ultimately, when you move in certain positions or turn your head, these rogue crystals shift and cause abnormal fluid movement in your inner ear canals. This results in the feeling of spinning.
BPPV can be difficult to live with if untreated because it can affect your ability to move, respond, and even get out of bed. It’s also important to be assessed by a Doctor of Audiology because BPPV can be caused by head injuries or migraines, both of which can be significantly impactful to your overall health. Additionally, BPPV can reoccur over time even if it goes away on its own, meaning it can be helpful to have the tools and information provided by our Doctors of Audiology. This can help prevent falls or injuries because of BPPV.
BPPV treatment begins with some quick and easy tests to determine what parts of your ears might be causing the spinning sensation. We assess this by performing a test called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. This means that you sit on an examination table with your legs stretched out. You’ll then turn your head to about 45 degrees while a Doctor of Audiology helps you quickly lay down. This maneuver often triggers BPPV and, if you experience it, your eyes will make certain movements that we can observe. Our experienced Doctors of Audiology can usually judge which part of the inner ear might be affected by BPPV from this so that we can target your treatment accordingly.
Treatment for BPPV can include a couple of clinically-accepted maneuvers performed in our private office. We can also refer you to a physical therapist if we believe it will help. One type of therapy, called vestibular rehabilitation, can be an effective option to include and we can refer you to the right specialist.
BPPV can be difficult to live with, but our Doctors of Audiology can help assess your symptoms, causes, and treatment options. Using these steps, we can make sure you have the tools you need to live a happy, healthy lifestyle without worrying about dizziness or spinning. To schedule an appointment with our Doctors of Audiology, contact our New York City office by calling (212) 774-1971 or filling out our online form.