Do you suffer with episodes of dizziness?
Do you get a spinning sensation when rolling over in bed or lying down or tying your shoelaces? Do you lose your balance and feel dizzy when hanging the washing or putting the dishes away? It is possible that you have a condition called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV).
BPPV is the most common cause of episodic dizziness affecting 1 in 10 people of the general population. It is a disorder of the inner ear where calcium carbonate crystals migrate from one part of your inner ear into another part of your inner ear. With the crystals in the semi-circular canals instead of the otolith organs abnormal impulses are sent to the brain causing the eyes to flicker and a feeling of dizziness or vertigo. People with BPPV often report a severe spinning sensation that lasts for up to a minute and in some cases can even cause the person to fall over. People with BPPV are often left with a lasting feeling of disequilibrium in between the episodes of dizziness.
The cause of BPPV is not precisely known but we think that it might be to do with the ageing system as BPPV becomes more prevalent in the over 65 year olds. We also know that it is more common in people who have had a head injury and people who have had vestibular neuronitis/labyrinthitis.
The good news is that BPPV can be easily identified and treated by a trained vestibular physiotherapist. There are several types of BPPV each with their own treatment but to diagnose the most common type of BPPV the Dix-Hallpike Test is used as the gold standard diagnostic. If BPPV is present a treatment technique called the Epley Manoeuvre is used to guide the calcium carbonate crystals back into the correct part of the inner ear. This treatment technique is successful in more than 80% of BPPV cases and for many will cure the episodic dizziness straight away. For some people BPPV might re-occur and might require further treatment.
At Leeds and Bradford Neurophysiotherapy practice we offer a vestibular service for anyone experiencing dizziness and/or imbalance. Anna Bennett (Nee Hildreth) is our Specialist Neuro-Vestibular Physiotherapist who will go through a comprehensive assessment to work out what is causing your symptoms. If it is BPPV then Anna will explain exactly what that means and what the best treatment option is. Anna has lots of experience working with people with dizziness and knows how worrying it can be. She will be there to support you throughout the treatment and she will help you to re-gain your confidence and get back to the things you enjoy.