The dizzy patient – Managing patients with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
“I’m so dizzy, my head is spinning….” Whilst a catchy song by Tommy Roe in the 1960’s, being dizzy is not an enjoyable experience and can be difficult for patients to cope with. One cause of dizziness can be due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.
How Common is BPPV?
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vestibular dysfunction in Australia. An estimated 5.6 million patients present primarily with dizziness per year, and 17-42% of these are diagnosed with BPPV. In Australia, 30% of people over 65 experience vertigo, and similar rates of incidence of BPPV would be expected. BPPV is common in our elderly population, and is associated with increasing incidence of depression, falls and functional impairment.
Since the cause of BPPV is mechanical in nature, so is the treatment. We at North Rockhampton physio will guide you through a variety of very specific positioning manoeuvres in an attempt to reproduce a spinning sensation and to observe the subsequent nystagmus that presents with it. Based upon the manoeuvre that stimulated dizziness and the direction of the nystagmus observed, we will be able to pinpoint which canal in the ear has been affected.