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: 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.

Comment from: BPV Sufferer, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 29

I woke up at 3 in the night with severe dizziness, lots of sweating and nausea. It scared the hell out of me. After going to the hospital and having a battery of tests done from MRI to CT to a Heart Echo , I was finally told I have BPV. It's been 5 days since I left the hospital and I still have some dizziness in the mornings which gets better as the day progresses. I have been prescribed Vertin 16 to help with the dizziness and it does help to some extent. I hope this dizziness goes away soon.

Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 29

Three months ago, I woke up with my head spinning whenever I turned my head to either side. Of course, it was extremely anxiety-producing, as well as physically debilitating. A friend referred me to a medical practice specializing in dizziness issues. They asked me lots of questions and gave me extensive ear/hearing tests. After all this they diagnosed me as having benign positional vertigo (BPV) and told me that there was a 70% chance that after one day's treatment there in the office I would walk away "cured". They proceeded to administer the Epley Maneuver, which basically consists of having you lie down and then changing the position of your head to "dump" the loose microscopic calcium pieces in your inner ear into less sensitive areas of the inner ear. Unfortunately, I was not in the 70% that responded in the first visit. It took three visits for me (over a one week time period, but the Epley Maneuver finally cleared my dizziness. This "clear" period lasted about 3 months, during which time I returned to all my activities, including intense tennis, surfing and working out in the gym. Last week it came back and I immediately scheduled another appointment with the same physician's assistant who treated me before. I feel a little better the day after my first Epley treatment, but if I were to guess, I think I will have to go back for at least one more treatment. I am confident, however, that it will work again. So there is hope. You just need to find a medical practice that specializes in dizziness.

Comment from: Dezzy, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I woke up one morning with severe dizziness and actually fell and hit my head because of it. I went to the ER and after doing 3 blood tests was told I had labrynthitis. I went to follow up with my primary doctor who disagreed and said I had BPV. He did an MRI which was normal. But here it is 4 days after symptoms began and I am still spinning and my doctor tells me that people with BPV should not miss work as it really isn't that debilitating. I am on Meclizine for the dizziness and that makes me tired. I am nervous about driving but guess I have no choice but to go back to work. This is very frustrating.

Comment from: Tommie Roe, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 03

I was diagnosed with BPV back in 1990. I woke up from a sound sleep feeling like my head was spinning 200mph. I had to hold my head in a certain position to keep from spinning and getting sick. It went away on its own after about two weeks. 5 years later it hit me again, this time much worse, couldn't even walk for days. Ironically I ate shrimp the day before, which is what I had for supper the first time I got BPV five years earlier. So obviously it was time for me to avoid shrimp and blame the dizziness on being allergic to shrimp. Well 10 years after giving up shrimp bang! BPV hits me with a vengeance, totally unable to sit-up or walk for days, I would just spin out of control if I moved my head in the wrong direction. Took weeks for it to go away. I guess maybe I'm not allergic to shrimp! My latest bout with BPV was in September of 2009. Same symptoms, violent spinning, uncontrolled eye movement, had to try to avoid certain head positions. It finally went away almost 5 weeks later. If it happens again I'm going to try to find a doctor that knows how to perform the Epley manuver.

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo:

Benign Positional Vertigo - Exercises

What exercises helped with your benign positional vertigo?

Benign Positional Vertigo - Experience

Please describe your experience with benign positional vertigo.

Benign Paroxysmal Vertigo - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your benign paroxysmal vertigo?



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