BPPV is mainly caused when calcium carbonate crystals (known as Otoconia) embedded in the gel utricle becomes dislodged and migrate to one or more of the 3 fluid-filled semi-circular canals, usually the posterior semicircular canal. When the head is tilted in a particular position, the otoconia migrates in the semicircular canal and moves the fluid within that canal. The movement of the fluid gives the sensation of spinning (known as vertigo).
Most people with BPPV disorder complain of vertigo which is caused by specific head movement. BPPV occurs in adults of all ages and mostly BPPV often occurs in aged or elderly individuals’ is sometimes associated with head trauma or labyrinthitis.
Medications are not helpful in BPPV
- Particle Repositioning Manuever (PRM) – also known as the Epley’s maneuver. The maneuver aims to reposition the loose otoconia back to its original position. It comes with a 80% success rate with one try.
- Surgery – only when PRM fails. Rarely required.