What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)?

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common inner ear problem that causes short episodes of sudden vertigo, or the sensation that the room is spinning. Some people also have symptoms of lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting that occur as well. BPPV episodes are typically very short, lasting only seconds to a few minutes.

Symptoms of BPPV are triggered by sudden changes in movement, such as rolling over or sitting up in bed, bending the head forward to look down, or tipping the head backward to look up.

BPPV occurs due to changes within the inner ear balance organ. Deep within the inner ear, there are 3 small structures called semicircular canals. The semicircular canals help us detect motion and maintain balance. BPPV is caused by tiny calcium crystals moving out of place and becoming free floating in one of the semicircular canals. These crystals move around in the canal with changes in gravity and head position. This interferes with the signal sent from the inner ear to the brain, resulting in vertigo.

For some people, symptoms of BPPV resolve on their own. BPPV can also be treated with a procedure that guides the dislodged crystals back into place. In many cases, the symptoms resolve after these treatments. If you believe you may be suffering from BPPV, call our office at 904-399-0350 to schedule an evaluation.