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Are you Dizzy?

Do you have dizziness when you turn your head, bend down, or sit up from laying down? Dizziness is not a ‘normal’ feeling and is certainly not comfortable.

Your inner ear holds a system called your Vestibular system. This system helps to keep you upright, and connects your brain and eye movements so you know where your head is in space.

There are a number of Vestibular disorders that may cause dizziness and vertigo. Vertigo is better defined as “room spinning dizziness’

One of the most common vestibular disorders is BPPV; Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. BPPV can cause mild to severe bouts of a sudden sensation that you are spinning.

What is happening in the inner ear when I feel this?

Your vestibular system has crystals called Otoconia . BPPV occurs when one or more of these otoconia become dislodged and move into one of the canals in your vestibular system where they are unable to be dissolved. This causes your brain to be told you are moving when you are not causing your symptoms.

Movements that commonly trigger BPPV symptoms:

  • Looking up

  • Sitting up from laying down

  • Turning over in bed

Symptoms of BPPV can include:

  • Dizziness

  • A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)

  • A loss of balance or unsteadiness

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

The good news is that your Physical Therapist can help you feel better, and oftentimes (80-90% of the time) can relieve your symptoms in 1 visit. A trained vestibular physical therapist will conduct a series of tests to determine the cause of your dizziness. If BPPV is determined to be the cause, they can bring you through a series of head movements to bring the dislodged crystals back to where they are able to be dissolved and therefore relieve your symptoms.

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