Are You Suffering from BPPV Vertigo?

Are you suffering from symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, nausea and even vomiting? Are these attacks short in duration and do they seem to be provoked by moving your head in a certain way? If so, you could be one of the many people suffering from an ear problem known as BPPV (which stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo).

Those over 50 are particularly affected – but anyone can get BPPV – and the good news is that it is a relatively simple condition to treat effectively. However, it is vital to ensure that the problem is, in fact, BPPV and not another medical condition that can cause similar symptoms. Examples of which may include, changes in blood pressure, an infection or biomechanical problem affecting the spinal cord.

If the vertigo or dizziness symptoms we have described sound like those you have been experiencing, call your Ealing Chiropractor today at Neuroworks Chiropractic on 020 8566 3757. We can effectively treat BPPV using only gentle, conservative methods. If your problem does not arise from BPPV, we will arrange a referral for diagnosis.

Types Of BPPV

There are two main types of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Geotropic and Apogeotropic. We asked Johan C Jeronimus, Neuroworks’ founder, to explain the difference in ‘layman’s terms’ for us.

He says, “If you have Geotropic BPPV, your problem arises from tiny crystals of calcium carbonate which are floating in the liquid that fills the ear canal. In certain head positions, or when you move your head in a particular way, the crystals ‘bump’ against the delicate filaments in the ear canal. Normally, these filaments send messages to the brain, helping keep our balance, but the free floating crystals ‘trick’ them, into sending messages to the brain, indicating that we are in motion, like a ship at sea – when we are not – causing the dizziness and vertigo!”

“Apogeotropic BPPV produces very similar symptoms – but instead of being free floating, the crystals have become ‘stuck’ to an important structure within the ear called the Cupula. Other, less common, causes can be due to imbalances within the ear; even an excessive use of alcohol can cause the problem.”

Diagnosing BPPV

Diagnosis is made easier because each type of BPPV tends to be triggered by specific head positions and/or movements. By moving the patient into a number of different positions in order to assess which cause the distressing vertigo symptoms and observing the patient for other indicators, such as Nystagmus, (rapid, uncontrolled movement of the eyes), we can accurately assess the type of BPPV and therefore, the most appropriate treatment.

For example, in the case of Geotropic BPPV, a number of manoeuvres, designed to move the tiny crystals causing the problem into a pocket at the back of the ear are performed. Here, they remain so that they do not ‘escape’ and cause symptoms again.

Patients at Ealing Chiropractic practice, Neuroworks, are given some self-help advice after treatment.

  1. Stay upright and still for as long as possible to make the treatment more effective.
  2. Cut salt and caffeine from the diet, completely, for the first week.
  3. Consider decreasing intake of salt and caffeine permanently as this can help to avoid repeat episodes of BPPV.

For those patients still having vertigo symptoms after initial treatment, VRT (Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy), or additional treatments may be required.

As Ealing Chiropractor, Johan C Jeronimus points out – patients suffering from BPPV are often very surprised to find that their symptoms are gone after only one visit for treatment. The other thing that surprises them is that treatment is simple, gentle and drug-free. Vertigo can make life a misery, so call Neuroworks Chiropractic today!


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