Dizziness is the second most common medical complaint in the adult population. An estimated 42% of adults over the age of 40 have reported episodes of dizziness or vertigo to their physicians. Benign Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of dizziness, accounting for almost 50% of dizziness in an older population. Fortunately, it is relatively easy for a professional to treat BPPV.
BPPV is caused when crystals, which are a normal part of the inner ear anatomy, break loose and float about. This makes the inner ear sensitive to gravity, resulting in severe vertigo in certain head positions. An audiologist can determine where the crystals are located, and take the patient’s head through a series of positions to relocate the crystals. This is known as canalith repositioning.
Relieving patients of the vertigo from BPPV has been a very satisfying part of my career. Patients that have been afraid to move about and enjoy daily activities of life can have their symptoms eliminated with one or two simple treatments. It is the only time I hear the word “miracle” from patients when reporting on the results of a treatment. Anyone suffering with vertigo should include a consultation with an audiologist as part of his or her medical work-up.