Viewer Comments: Benign Positional Vertigo - Diagnosis and Treatment

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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo:

Benign Positional Vertigo - Diagnosis and Treatment

How was your benign positional vertigo diagnosed and treated?

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Comment from: S.B Perth, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 06

One Sunday night as I was getting into bed, I got a major case of the head spins when I lay back with my head to the left. The next night I had the same thing happen but more violently. This continued every night as well as when I looked up at the ceiling at any time. I recall during the day of the first head spinning episode, I had been at the beach and had been diving off a pontoon into the ocean and doing a somersault as I entered the water. I had done this hundreds of times before. After doing some research and figuring out that I didn't have a brain tumor, I realized that I most likely had a case of BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). I researched further and read about self-performing the Epley maneuver. After having head spins every time I lay down or looked up for about 4 weeks, I decided to give the Epley maneuver a go myself. I did exactly as the instructions said, the whole process taking about 2 minutes. I did it before I went to work in the morning so I could stay upright for as long as possible that day before lying down again. It worked first time! My vertigo was gone. That was about 4 weeks back and I have not had the slightest hint of any head spins since. I have even been for surfing lessons and been tumbled around in the waves with no re occurrence. If you have BPPV then you must try this at home yourself. It is only a couple of minutes of bad head spins you have to put up with. Better than weeks or months of it!

Comment from: Marsha, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 09

When I was 46 I woke up at 3 am on my left side, looking up. The room was spinning. I moved to my right side in a fetal position until I felt better. I woke my husband. I said I thought I had a stroke. We sat outside until I felt better. I went to the emergency room the next morning. They diagnosed me with vertigo. I did not have another episode until I was 62. I was swimming (elementary backstroke) in a pool. I did not concentrate. I swam into the end of the pool, hit my head, and immediately got vertigo. I have been to an ENT, also physical therapist. They worked with me for 3 weeks. It got better. I still have vertigo almost every day, if I look up just a little. I have been having scans for an unrelated health issue. I am having a PET scan next week. I will have to look straight up while I am on my back. My primary care physician has given me patches for motion sickness and 2 Valium. I am very anxious. The last time I had a scan I got vertigo, yelled, and cried. It is awful.

Comment from: RHeflin, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 27

I went to work fine, went to bed that night and vertigo hit me about 12 am. I woke up spinning terribly, and had nausea, diarrhea, and hot/cold chills. Two weeks prior to this I had been extremely tired, like I could close my eyes and be asleep. My husband had to call 911. I went to hospital, they gave me Zofran for the nausea. It helped while I was there. They took blood work, also did a heart test. They told me I caught a virus and sent me home. It is 2 weeks later and I am still having dizzy spells, followed with stomach aches, and tiredness. Followed up with the primary care physician and she diagnosed me with BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). However she did no tests so I am not sure how I got the diagnosis. She gave me meclizine for the dizziness. I have also had stomach aches through this whole ordeal, and haven't been wanting to eat either. I feel like I am going to have to see another doctor for second opinion because I just can't continue like this, it is terrible. It has affected my work and personal life terribly.

Comment from: Carolyn, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I had the Epley maneuver done by an ENT and by a chiropractor a total of 6 times. It made me very sick. I had to stay in bed with vomiting and dry heaves for over 24 hours every time. It was worse than the BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) and never helped me at all!

Comment from: jchris, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 12

I seem to follow a pattern described in several comments. I got up about 3:00AM to go to the bathroom, staggered and almost fell to the floor before falling back on the bed. After resting a few seconds I was able to get back to my business. The following morning I felt drained but went about doing some things outside. While trimming a tall shrub I needed to look up and became so dizzy I had to stop. I went on for a couple of days with the dizziness returning periodically; it would not go away completely. Three days later I attempted to change a shower head and received another severe shot of the dizziness. I stopped and called my excellent PCP who worked me into his busy schedule that same afternoon. He was very familiar with my overall health situation but asked several questions and carefully examined my eyes, ears, nose throat BP, etc. He then performed the Epley Maneuver. He first had me lie on my left side and look toward the ceiling and nothing happened. We then repeated the maneuver on the right side and all hell broke loose. I felt like I had been put on a top and someone pulled the string. I was holding on to anything I could reach and my doctor was holding on and telling me to bear with it a few seconds. He then proclaimed that I was suffering from BPV and explained as much as he knew about the condition. He hoped the Epley Maneuver would cure the condition completely but that I should feel at least 50% better. He gave me some exercises called Brandt-Daroff to do at home in a set of five repeated twice daily. He also prescribed Meclizine but I can't tell that it helps any. When I do the Brandt-Daroff exercises there is no sensation at all on the left side. When I am on my right side the spinning recurs but not as severely as with the Epley Maneuver. After one week of the exercises I sense an improvement in severity of spinning while exercising. After completing the exercises, I feel completely drained with a subdued feeling of motion sickness. My case is obviously less severe than many of those described in the viewer comments. I have been fortunate not to have suffered severe nausea and vomiting although coming close a few times.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo:

Benign Positional Vertigo - Exercises

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Benign Positional Vertigo - Experience

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Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo - Symptoms

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