Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
Vertigo is the sudden sensation that you are unsteady or that your surroundings are moving. You may feel like you're spinning around on a merry-go-round or that your head is spinning inside. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common disorders that can cause vertigo.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness associated with specific changes in the position of your head. It most commonly occurs when you move your head in a certain direction, lie down from an upright position, turn over in bed or sit up in the morning. Moving your head to look up or look down also can bring about symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. You may also feel out of balance when standing or walking.
Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo can be a bothersome problem, it's rarely serious except when it increases the chance of falls. You can receive effective treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo during a doctor's office visit.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
May 16, 2008
The signs and symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may include:
A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)
A loss of balance
Blurred vision associated with the sensation of vertigo
The signs and symptoms of BPPV can come and go, with symptoms commonly lasting less than one minute. Episodes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and other forms of vertigo can disappear for some time and then recur.
Activities that bring about the signs and symptoms of BPPV can vary from person to person, but are almost always brought on by a change in the position of your head. Abnormal rhythmic eye movements (nystagmus) usually accompany the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Although rare, it's possible to have BPPV in both ears (bilateral BPPV).
May vary from person to person
Changes in barometric pressure - patients often feel symptoms approximately two days before rain or snow
Lack of sleep (required amount of sleep may vary widely)
Visual exposure to nearby moving objects (examples - cars, snow)
Tilting the head
Differences between visual stimuli and the information received from the inner ear about one's location in space.
14 October 2008,