What Is The Treatment For Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

Treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can be carried out by a specialist or at home. There are certain advantages to seeing a doctor for a diagnosis and treatment. However there are several treatments you can try at home which may work and cost nothing.

What Is The Treatment For Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

What Is The Treatment For Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

It is important not to delay diagnosis by trying to treat dizziness at home by yourself. Rarely, dizziness may be caused by a brain tumour and it is obviously important that this is diagnosed as soon as possible. Stemetil (prochlorperazine) is a tablet which can help control symptoms.  It has antisickness as well as antidizziness properties.

It is necessary to work out which side you need to perform the treatment towards. This can be difficult to work out yourself and is easier for a doctor who has experience in this. Sometimes extreme vomiting may happen during the procedure. This may be difficult to handle if you are alone.

Sometimes neurological symptoms can be set off by certain maneuvers. It is important to be careful and worth having somebody with you. I would recommend a doctor performs these Manoeuvers but here is the information for your reference, should you need it. www.dizziness-and-balance.com/disorders/bppv/home/home-pc.html

The Epley maneuver it is a common treatment carried out by ENT specialists and others trained in the technique. It has an 80% success rate quoted in many places. The logic behind it's operation is that it repositions the crystals of the inner ear. It is important to explain what will happen to the patient before the procedure is carried out as it can be quite unpleasant. In a seated position the patient's head is turned towards the affected side. After a 30 second pause the patient is laid flat on the bed, remaining turned to that side. The head is hung off the end of the bed and this position is maintained for 30 seconds longer. 

The patient is then sat back up again for another 30 second pause. The head is then turned to the centre and the neck flexed to put the chin on the chest and another pause is performed for 30 seconds. The patient is advised not to drive home and should not lie flat for two nights.

They should not lie on the bad side for five days. Patients should be warned that the procedure can cause very severe vomiting. Extreme nystagmus may also be noted by the clinician.

Sometimes surgery is used to treat the condition if the Epley manoeuvre and other similar treatments don't work. During the surgery a small piece of bone is used to block up the part of your ear causing dizziness. The success rate is around 90% but the individual is left being unable to sense movement with that part of the inner ear.

Summary.  There are several differnet treatments for BPPV.  They are best performed by a doctor but have modified versions which can be done at home.  If you have dizziness make sure you visit your GP for diagnosis.

Dr Toby Bateson