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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Question:

Please describe your experience with benign positional vertigo. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Cured101, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 06

After visits to my general physician, ENT, neurologist, and being diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and suffering for 10 years I thought I would have to live with it forever. My niece who is in nursing school suggested I try a magnesium supplement and after 10 days I started feeling better, and after 3 weeks I had no dizziness any more. Try magnesium instead of the head movements; that only made me dizzier.

Comment from: Val, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I have suffered from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) for 30 years. It started when I had a bang to my head and at the time I was told I had perforated my eardrum. I started getting the dizziness when I lay down or put my head down quickly. I was told it was Meniere's disease for years. Then about 5 years ago I was told it was BPPV. My doctor tried the Epley maneuver on me but it just made me feel worse. I found on line a maneuver you do before you go to sleep which worked after doing it for about 3 to 4 nights. But now I am in my 60s I find it is harder to do and makes me feel really sick. I am home from work at the moment suffering. I am just wondering how I am going to cope as I get older. I am still not sure what starts it, I have gone 6 months without it before. But the last 2 episodes have been just a few months between.

Comment from: choppy, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: March 28

I have been feeling dizzy after playing tennis and I went to the neurologist and he diagnosed I had BPV (benign positional vertigo). I did the Epley exercises but they had no effect and I am stuck feeling dizzy nearly every time I play tennis. It is frustrating.

Comment from: Sinning, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 22

It's hard to admit but my benign positional vertigo (BPV) has been going on for twenty years. It goes away and then returns. I have it in varying degrees. In fact I just got home from a treatment after one of many and I felt fine at first. Now I'm dizzy again. I am going back on Thursday. I don't know what I would do without my physical therapist. It eventually helps for a while and then turning in bed it is back. I'm very active but this condition really slows me down. My doctor suggested surgery. But there are risks. I'm not going that route. They do something so the crystals don't get loose. It sounds ideal but as of yet I am not willing to take the chance. I sympathize for everyone that deals with this condition.

Comment from: yukii, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 23

I suffered with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo for years. I found an article about the crystals in the ear and did some research on it. I found that magnesium will make them stronger so they don't fall off. I started taking magnesium 500 mg a day. The first year I had only 3 attacks instead of 6-12. Today I have not had any more attacks the past 2 years.

Comment from: cyclonicman, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 06

Having had a head injury in the 80s I've had issues with balance with increased symptoms when sick with flu and any kind of infection. Also contributed by the same injury (I believe), I suffered a condition of the eyes called cotton wool spot caused by capillaries of the retina 'exploding'. Between the two I periodically experience BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). I've just learned that diagnosis and am beginning to use methods shared in this forum. Thanks to all. I will update my results.

Comment from: Dizzy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

Last week I woke up feeling slightly disoriented and through the morning it progressed to what finally became an awful spinning sensation causing nausea to the point of vomiting. This lasted the entire day. I was ok (or at least not vomiting) if I simply did not move my head at all. However the slightest tilt or shift and the nausea and vomiting would begin again. I was unable to even walk unassisted. On day 2 I woke up feeling extremely nauseous and dizzy, although not quite to the point of vomiting. I decided to go in to the doctor because I was concerned that my left eye was extra fuzzy even with my glasses. My left ear also felt muffled and 'full'. I was diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) and my doctor helped me through a few rounds of the Epley maneuvers. I felt better instantly. Although still nauseated, the world stopped spinning and I could get around on my own. By day 8 and I have been sleeping with several pillows and haven't laid flat since the first episode because I get very nauseous pretty quickly. I awake somewhat dizzy most mornings but do Epley maneuvers each morning (3-4 rounds), then take a short walk out in the fresh air. This seems to get me through most of the day until late afternoon when I have to repeat my treatment. Day 9 I woke up feeling as close to normal as I have in over a week! No need for Epley today and worked a full day for first time since this began. I'm not 100% yet but fully believe the Epley maneuvers are a lifesaver. If you have BPPV, find a doctor that can instruct you in correct use. It stopped my world from spinning and helped me get back to life. Hopefully future episodes will be minimal or nonexistent.

Comment from: Donna, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

My daughter had this experience along with my sister and aunt and noticed it seems to be inherited after I had my first attack last night and this morning of acute vertigo by turning my head quickly. My experience was like in a split second, I was catapulted in another universe of extreme spinning at 100 rpm's with my stomach going up and down every second--like a roller coaster ride at 200 mph. It lasted the first time for a few seconds, and the second time about 20 seconds and I fell to the floor to keep steady since there were no handle bars in this experience to keep me grounded. I was left weak and a little dizzy the rest of the day and took off work since I was scheduled to drive recruits around. I was used to thrill rides and used to race many years ago myself, so I didn't get nauseated. I also knew there was a possibility of it happening to me since family members had it. My daughter who has it once in a while told me it helps her to slowly move my head back and forth to adjust the loose crystals in my inner ear. She and other members of my family sought treatment but nothing works but this. The medication given only makes them sleep better, does not help the symptoms.

Comment from: BPV sufferer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I have suffered a few times with BPV. I was originally informed by doctor that it was stress that was causing dizziness. When finally diagnosed, my doctor tried the Epley maneuver - which sent me into a panic. If he had explained what he was doing and that I would suffer severe dizziness while he was doing it I may have been able to have continued with it.

Comment from: BD, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 30

I was on a very turbulent flight on a trip to visit relatives and the next day experienced severe vertigo. I was told by a nurse it could be BPPV, so I tried the Epley maneuver myself after watching a video. It seemed to help a bit, but I'm still constantly dizzy to various degrees depending on what I do.

Comment from: irish, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

I get very nauseous when working under a sink. It doesn't happen very often, but it always happens. It takes only a couple minutes for it to start, and it gets so severe that I can't continue.

Comment from: Clemmie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 29

I have had several episodes of BPV. It is a terrible feeling of spinning, dizziness and nausea. The first time I got it I went to the doctor and he diagnosed it as BPV, which I never heard of. He did the maneuvers and I was better almost instantly. Last week after a lot of stress, it returned. I thought it had something to do with my trip to the hairdresser. She sometimes shampoos my head quite vigorously and my head hits the shampoo bowl. I went to the doctor and he again performed the maneuver for BPV. He told me to keep my head upright for 24 hours, which I did. The next morning I was back to normal. I have a very smart doctor and he took the time to do the maneuvers on me. I asked why other doctors don't do this and he said they don't like to take the time. In the past, years ago, my other doctors would give me medicine which never worked and said it was just an inner ear thing. I am so glad I finally found a doctor who is willing to take the time to treat the condition and explain the problem. Good doctors make all the difference in the world.

Comment from: anon, 55-64 Female Published: April 30

I have been diagnosed as having BPPV. I unfortunately have severe attacks that will last from two to four days at a time. I've not found the specific cause for an individual episode, which I am having more frequently. During an episode I do the Epley maneuver, and it does help somewhat. I'm looking forward to a cure, as I'm not functional during an episode.

Comment from: Lcsw, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 02

I experienced BPPV over 15 years ago and it took 6months for the spinning and dizziness to stop. I had treatment and did the exercises daily. I have learned what head positions make me dizzy and avoid them. I have stayed mostly in remission for the past 10 years. Last week, I woke up early in the morning and leaped out of bed because my stomach was upset. I hurried into the bathroom and the next thing I knew was that my head and face were implanted in the corner of the wall. I did not fall to the floor because the wall was holding me up. It felt like something pushed me hard from behind. Blood was running down my face and a huge egg appeared over my temple. I had X-ray's and my eye orbits and cheek bones were not broken. Now I am experiencing dizziness for the first seven or eight hours after I wake up and then it wears off. Has anyone had this experience? I am used to my balance being off but this is worse.

Comment from: Jaslet, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 02

3years ago I was suddenly bowled over from behind by a large dog, whist walking my own small one. I hit the ground like a tree being felled, but to my amazement was able to get up and walk home, apparently shaken but otherwise unhurt. A few days later I began to experience symptoms of BPPV quite severely. I was seen ultimately by a neuro-physician, who performed various head treatments, including tapping vigorously on the bone behind my ear for several minutes to dislodge the crystals from where they had settled. This was repeated a number of times. I was then able to go home with instructions to rest and keep my head in a stable position for a day or two. I have had no recurrence of the symptoms since.

Comment from: photog, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 10

I have had this condition for 5 days now and it hit me right out of the blue! I was just waking up from a lovely sleep when my head started spinning like crazy. Luckily the spinning stopped almost as soon as I sat upright but it left me with a sickly feeling. Any attempt at lying down was out of the question because the spinning started up again. Doctor said do the exercises and it will go. So far it hasn't.

Comment from: sandicoops, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I have had two major attacks of this condition. They were both cured by performing the Epley maneuver and the symptoms then disappeared very quickly. Both occurrences happened whilst I was asleep in bed, but after prolonged periods of stress.

Comment from: 65-74 Female Published: February 27

I suffered from vertigo and it took quite a while to control it. We discovered it was a twofold problem. One was crystals in the fluid of the inner ear that would get caught in the balance mechanism of my ear and the other was my eyes, which were not working together, one focused in the distance and the other up close. That gave my brain mixed messages and it would just shut down and I would get dizzy and fall down (glasses were a simple fix). The inner ear problem was solved by rolling my head in circles to the left and to the right (trying to touch my shoulder) morning and night.

Comment from: jamsma, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 15

I was diagnosed a couple of weeks ago. My dizziness lasted all day for one week. Before that it would come and go but always lasted 24 hours. I do not get sick and function with it. When I get BPV I feel pressure in my ears and the back of my head. I have not found a treatment that works to make it better. I'd like to know more about it and find out if perhaps there might be something else going on that doctors have missed.

Comment from: carolina, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 31

I have had BPV off and on since 1972. In ever know when it is going to happen or when it will stop. Finally got a doctor that taught me the Epley maneuver and it has helped.

Comment from: mi6skipper, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 06

I too have suffered from this for over 20 years. It affects your self esteem because it is hard to do anything besides close your eyes and rest. The motion sickness pills I use make you very sleepy and don't help all that much. My main problem is nausea. Because people can't see it, they think you are depressed or lazy. I feel for each and every one of the people out there who are suffering.

Comment from: Joanne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 24

I am a 60 yr old female and have had BPV for 25 years. I have a severe case. Sometimes I go for months without an attack, sometimes I have a month of attacks. In the 80s when it first happened, doctors thought I was crazy. But now it has a name BPV. It caused problems in my marriage because my husband thought I was imagining it and was depressed---which made me depressed and helped destroy my marriage. I did have a minor head injury in the 70s and had tons of ear infections from swimming as a child. After years of suffering I have succumb to the attacks. I have had the positional treatments, tons of tests, doctors, the meclizine, etc. they do not help. I doctor here in Billings, MT put me on 4 grams of valium a day when I have an attack. Usually after two days with the valium and sleep, it goes away 90%. I don't stay on valium more than three days because it is addicting. You can't let it destroy your life, you have to just accept it and have to be careful with your head positioning especially when sleeping! My problem is my left side. Also, No more roller coasters, etc. (which I used to love). Anyway, that is my life living with BPV.

Comment from: Janet, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I was diagnosed with BPV about eight weeks ago .I received the Gonstead method of chiropractic care and the relief almost instant. Now I feel back in control and I can see straight again.

Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine

REFERENCE:

Barton, Jason JS, MD, PhD, FRCPC. "Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo." UptoDate.com. Updated Jan 8, 2016.

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