A common cause of vertigo is a condition called BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). BPPV is a condition of the inner ear that affects the vestibular system, which is responsible for balance.
Deep in the ear are a series of three canals filled with fluid. When we move our head, this fluid moves and sends nerve signals to the brain, telling us we have moved.
In BPPV, crystals which are normally stored in another area of the ear float into the fluid canals. The crystals cause the fluid to move, making our brain think that our head has moved. This gives the sensation of spinning or vertigo.
The main symptoms of BPPV are:
- Loss of balance
BPPV commonly occurs spontaneously without incident and is thought to be related to “wear and tear” of the vestibular system. However, in up to 20% of cases, there is some form of trauma leading to onset. This may be a whiplash injury, a head knock, or after facial surgery or dental work.
Here’s the good news!
BPPV is not permanent. It is treatable by a physiotherapist! Left untreated BPPV will often resolve within two months. However, with treatment, this can be accelerated to anywhere between 1 – 4 weeks.
If you struggle with episodes of vertigo or have any questions, call Southside Physiotherapy on 9527 4099.