Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo and dizziness in individuals over the age of 50 and is caused by changes in head position. Most commonly, an individual experiences a 30-second attack of strong vertigo when he lies down in bed or bends to tie his shoe. The vertigo may last more or less than 30 seconds, and the head movement triggering the attack may vary.
BPPV is caused when small crystals in the inner ear fluid lodge in part of the balance system. These crystals form a vital purpose under ordinary circumstances but when they break away they cause the inner ear fluid to continue to move even after the individual has stopped moving. In many cases, this condition can be successfully treated by an audiologist or physician, though it may take more than one treatment. These treatments involve specific movements of the head to remove the crystals from the inner ear.
For more information on BPPV, please contact the Yale Hearing and Balance Center at (203) 785-2467.