Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
It is safe to say that most people have experienced some sort of lightheadedness at some point in their lifetime. It is definitely not a pleasant feeling, especially if it is frequent and sudden. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common cause of vertigo (a sudden spinning sensation) which happens in brief episodes because of certain changes in the position of the head. It is an uncomfortable feeling and although rarely serious, it can be dangerous if it causes severe episodes leading to falling and injury or if they happen while driving, for example.
What are the causes of BPPV?
Sometimes a patient may be seen by one of the best ENT doctors in Houston, who will run all the related tests and properly diagnose their condition only to come back with what is known as idiopathic BPPV, which means that the cause is unknown. Although idiopathic BPPV is the most common diagnosis, there are causes associated with this condition, such as inner ear disorders. The “otoconia” are small crystals (also known as canaliths) in the inner ear which are used to determine the direction of gravity. When these crystals come loose and hover around, they start giving the spinning sensation with certain movements of the head.
What are the symptoms of BPPV?
Along with the obvious symptom, dizziness, there is also a spinning sensation which can be described as you or your surroundings moving. The dizziness associated with BPPV is usually triggered by certain head positions and doesn’t normally last for longer than minutes. Loss of balance, nausea and vomiting are also common symptoms of BPPV. Of course, being that these symptoms are not exclusive to this particular disorder, it is important to visit an ear doctor in Houston to properly diagnose your particular condition and rule out any other causes.
If dizziness is accompanied with fever, vision problems, hearing loss, trouble speaking, numbing or tingling in extremities, or weakness in arms and legs, it is important to seek emergency care immediately.
Are there treatments for BPPV?
In some cases, BPPV may be gone without any treatment within weeks or months. An ENT doctor in Houston may help relieve you of your symptoms sooner via certain movements known as canalith repositioning procedure or the “Epley Maneuver”. The canalith repositioning procedure moves the canaliths from the canal to the utricle. In rare cases, when this method is found ineffective, a surgical procedure may be performed where a bone plug is placed to block the area of your ear causing vertigo.
To get a professional diagnosis and proper treatment schedule an appointment with ENTAC Houston, TX by contacting us at 713-621-2556.