Although you may not have heard of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), it is extremely common. Nearly 50% of older adults aged 70 or older will face challenges related to BPPV.
So, what is it, and if you’re concerned about the symptoms – what can you do about it?
What Is BPPV?
You may not be familiar with BPPV, but you will undoubtedly have heard of vertigo. Vertigo is a balance problem associated with “heights,” an uncomfortable sensation that makes you feel off-balance, giddy, and generally unstable. BPPV is not a condition in itself, but it is the number one cause that leads to the common issue known as vertigo – a symptom of a vestibular disorder.
BPPV triggers vertigo through a change in the position of the head or body and generally lasts only a few seconds.
Although this does not sound like a big problem, considering the short period of the sensation, the regularity with which this can happen to heavy sufferers can impact their ability to do even the most straightforward thing, such as standing up.
Vertigo manifests itself in this way due to a fault within the inner ear. Our ears house the part of our system that deals with balance. The ear uses calcium carbonate crystals as a gravity sensor. If these crystals become dislodged or disturbed, it can cause temporary giddiness or imbalance.
How Does BPPV Occur?
BPPV does not tend to occur at random. In general, it presents itself as a knock-on effect from another vestibular disorder. The most common and trickiest to spot, causal conditions are vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis. Both of these are painless so that they might be the cause of a surprise bout of vertigo or nausea.
Other common and more apparent conditions leading to BPPV include cardiovascular disease, diabetes, a tendency for migraines, and minor head trauma.
How Is BPPV Treated?
In most cases, BPPV can be very easily treated.
BPPV is usually treated using a specialized type of physical therapy for balance called Canalith Repositioning.
This balance therapy involves a very quick maneuver, which is painless and realigns the particles within the ear. This allows the balance center to absorb the calcium crystals effectively, normally taking effect within a few days.
However, the procedure does not always offer a permanent solution for all dizziness and balance problems. Although, each treatment takes only minutes and is successful in treating 95% of patients with no more than 3-4 treatments.
Our BPPV Process
As Lake Charles’ leading hearing and balance specialists, we have treated thousands of local people for this condition over the last 30 years.
Our treatment is not “one-size-fits-all.” There are a number of repositioning tools and methods. Which one is best for you comes down to the severity of your problem, any pre-existing physical issues, and your medical history when it comes to nausea or motion sickness.
There are also some medications available, should your doctor feel that your comfort and safety are at any significant risk.
Balance Therapy Treatment In Lake Charles
Our audiologists at Acadian Hearing Services are experts in providing comprehensive vestibular rehabilitation therapy for the treatment of various inner ear and balance problems.
If you or a loved one is looking for a solution for BPPV or any other related hearing and balance disorder, please schedule a balance assessment with one of our specialists at Lake Charles.
To learn more about the treatment options we provide at our hearing and balance center, please click here.