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. At NYHD: Institute for Hearing and Balance, our Doctors of Audiology are specialists in the assessment and often the treatment of human vestibular system disorders. We can look at the possible causes and recommend the right course of action for you.
As vestibular audiologists, we know that balance is integral to a happy, healthy life where you’re independent and averse to injury. That’s why we recommend the latest in treatments for balance concerns and dizziness in New York City after performing a comprehensive patient assessment.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is often described as a mechanical problem in the inner ear. Normally, the utricle in your inner ear houses tiny calcium carbonate crystals (otoliths) that are embedded in gel. BPPV occurs when one of the otoliths dislodge from the gelatinous part and migrate into one of the semicircular canals (typically the posterior canal), where they are not supposed to be. Ultimately, when you move in certain positions or turn your head, these rogue crystals shift and interfere with normal fluid movement in the canals. This causes the inner ear to send false signals of movement to the brain, resulting in a feeling of spinning and dizziness.
BPPV can be difficult to live with if untreated because it can affect your ability to move, respond, and sometimes even get out of bed. It is important to be assessed by a professional because BPPV can be caused by head injuries, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and migraines, all 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 in New York, NY. This can help prevent falls or injuries because of balance problems caused by BPPV. Moreover, since an episode of BPPV can come at any time, such as when you’re driving a car, it not only protects you but also the people around you.
Can Bppv go away by itself?
Symptoms of BPPV can sometimes fade for months or even years at a time, but the underlying cause will not go away.
Does Bppv get worse over time?
BPPV symptoms can change and certainly get worse if not diagnosed and treated on a regular basis.
Can Bppv make you feel ill?
Many patients with vertigo report nausea and even vomiting as a side effect of BPPV.
Can Bppv last for months?
Individual episodes of BPPV usually only last a minute or so, but can return at any time, even months or years between episodes.
Can you still drive with BPPV?
People with BPPV who must drive on a regular basis are cautioned not to do so, as an episode of BPPV can cause harm to themselves and others on the road.
Does Bppv go away?
BPPV will often go away without treatment over time, but will often require care from a medical professional.
Does Bppv make you tired?
Lingering fatigue is a common symptom of BPPV.
Does Bppv run in families?
BPPV is believed to run in families.
How can I fix Bppv at home?
An exercise known as the home Epley maneuver can help treat BPPV. Your doctor can help explain this exercise to you to ensure you complete it safely.
How long does Bppv last for?
A majority of patients will see their BPPV symptoms subside within 1-3 months.
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 the audiologist 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 audiologists 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, including the Semont Liberatory maneuver, Gans Repositioning maneuver, and the Epley-Herdman maneuver. These maneuvers restore the calcium carbonate crystals in the ear to their original space. In some cases, improving your Vitamin D levels can help manage your symptoms and your body’s ability to process calcium. We can also refer you to a physical therapist if we believe it will help. One type of physical therapy, called vestibular rehabilitation, can be an effective option as well, and we can refer you to the right dizziness specialist.
It’s important to know that these procedures are not permanent cures and that you may need ongoing treatment to manage your symptoms. Your trained audiologist can recommend the best options for you during your vertigo treatment appointment.
BPPV can be difficult to live with, but our audiologists can help assess your symptoms, causes, and provide treatment and management options. Using these steps, we can make sure you have the tools you need to live a happy, healthy lifestyle without worrying about dizziness. 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.