BPPV treatment

BPPV or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, simply known as vertigo, is a condition that makes you feel like the world around you is spinning – and the disease results from a problem in the inner ear. The sense of balance is that we feel when walking and doing everyday things is maintained by tiny calcium lumps inside our air canals. These stones move in accordance to our motions. But when certain inflammation or infections attack the ears, the stones stop moving. This sends a fake message to the brain, thus disturbing your balance.

Common symptoms of BPPV include feelings of revolving or moving when you are not. Although it does not last for more than a minute or two, the degree of the reaction can vary from a mild to a very nauseating feeling.

BPPV can go away by itself in a few weeks, that is, when the inflammation or infection heals. In some cases, however, the brain gets so habituated to these signals that you do not even realize you have the disease. This is called ‘compensation’. During the period that the condition persists, medications called vestibular suppressants, such as antihistamine, scopolamine, etc. are prescribed for vertigo. To reduce the feeling of nausea or vomiting, antiemetic medications may be administered.

Also, a few simple exercises at home will help you recover faster. These exercises are basically designed to allow for the movement of the stones. Such treatments with the use of exercise moves can be of two types –

Semont maneuver and modified Epley maneuver: This is done with the help another individual, usually a doctor, who holds the patients head in a variety of positions. This makes particles in the ear move so that they do not affect the person’s balance, which is necessary for proper hearing. Often, this exercise need not be done more than once. This can easily be done at home if one is properly taught how to do it.

Brandt-Daroff exercise: If the exercise mentioned above is not effective, this one may be considered. This exercise requires the patient to sit and lie again and again as long as the vertigo does not stop. This constant movement helps the brain to adjust to the incompatible balance signals that it receives during this condition. But this exercise, unlike the other one, should be practiced several times a day and continued for weeks, for it to show positive results.

If the condition reaches critical levels, ear surgery can be performed to treat BPPV.

Vertigo may not be a condition of severe threat, but it is helpful to remain cautious about hurting yourself or someone else around. A few precautions will help to avoid being hurt

  • Depending on what kind of movement that causes vertigo to occur you should refrain from cycling or driving in case vertigo is triggered and you lose control
  • You should keep floors and pathways inside home clean, dry and clutter-free to avoid falling over
  • Abstain from the use of tools or machines that may be dangerous if lose control while using them

When at home, you can take these following steps to help alleviate the dizziness and the uncomfortable feeling

  • When sleeping, use two or more pillows under your head
  • Try not to sleep on the side with the problem-causing ear
  • Stay away from situations where you have to lean over or to tip your head when doing things

Being under constant activity will help the brain adjust quickly to the confusions, however, this may be difficult given the fact that the condition is stimulated by movement. Although bed-rest may help, it may take more time for the brain to adjust if it gets no exercise.

Last updated on Aug 15th, 2010 and filed under Other Conditions & Diseases. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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