A distressing condition that causes recurring bouts of vertigo, set off by moving the head in a particular way, is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). The attacks usually only last for a short while and most commonly affect those over fifty years of age – but can be a problem for almost anyone.
Although BPPV is the most usual cause of Vertigo, ruling out any possibility of another medical problem is important as other potential causes of symptoms, may include trauma, blood pressure and spinal cord problems.
If you are experiencing short-lived periods of vertigo, particularly if these happen when you move your head a certain way, making an appointment with your Ealing Chiropractor at the Neuroworks Chiropractic Clinic to assess your symptoms, is a very good first step. Call us today on 020 8566 3757 and if your problem arises from BPPV, treatment can commence for this easily remedied problem. Alternatively, we can provide a referral to a healthcare professional that can help if BPPV is not the cause.
What Causes BPPV?
The effects of BPPV can be very distressing and produce nausea, dizziness and sometimes, vomiting, the cause is some tiny, innocuous crystals of calcium carbonate within the ear. The two most common types of BPPV are, Geotropic and Apogeotropic.
Geotropic is where the tiny crystals are floating freely within the ear, Apogeotropic is when the crystals have become attached to the Cupula, a structure that is part of the inner ear. In both cases, moving the head in a particular way, or holding it in a specific position results in the crystals causing problems with the balance mechanisms of the ear, leading to the unpleasant symptoms described.
There are a few other reasons why people get BPPV and these can include problems arising from excessive alcohol consumption, problems with the Cupula itself or imbalances with other structures that comprise the inner ear.
How Is BPPV Assessed?
By gently positioning the patient’s head in a way that produces symptoms helps with diagnosis. This is because vertigo in certain head positions characterises the different types of BPPV. Other indicators include unusual, random eye movements. Observing all the symptoms helps us in determining the exact type of BPPV experienced. In this way, we are able to provide the correct treatment method and bring relief quickly.
What Treatment Can I Expect?
As explained, this will depend on the type of BPPV you have. In a patient with Geotropic BPPV, (for example), where the crystals are free-floating, manoeuvring the head gently helps to deposit these crystals into a sort of ‘pocket’ deep inside the ear. They remain here – and therefore, do not set off the balance and dizziness symptoms that occur when they brush against the delicate hair-like structures in the fluid of the inner ear.
For the treatment to be most effective, Ealing Chiropractor Johan C. Jeronimus asks his patients to stay as still and as upright as they can afterwards. If symptoms persist for an unfortunate few, follow-up treatments or Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy (VRT) might be needed.
Other things that can help, post-treatment are the avoidance of caffeine and salt for about a week. Johan suggests that cutting back on these as a permanent measure, can help to reduce the likelihood of a recurrence as both have been proven to exacerbate build-up of the tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that cause the problem.
If you think you may have BPPV, visit your Ealing Chiropractor. The conservative, gentle and non-invasive treatment provided is completely drug-free and could provide a solution to your problem after just one treatment.