Also known as BPPV, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is a condition in which an individual suddenly becomes disoriented due to dizziness and feelings of being lightheaded. Generally, BPPV will come on suddenly and last for only a short time. However, the degree of disorientation may range from mild to severe. If left untreated, the condition can lead to more complicated types of vertigo.
In many instances, BPPV occurs when the head is moved into certain positions. For example, the individual may suddenly move the head from left to right, or suddenly move from an upright position to a prone one. The quick changes in the position of the head can trigger the onset of a number of symptoms, but the condition itself is usually considered to be relatively innocuous.
While the symptoms vary, people who experience benign paroxysmal positional vertigo just about always have some amount of dizziness and lightheadedness during an episode. There is also the chance of blurred vision to take place at the same time. In more serious cases, the individual may also lose his or her balance, or have a strong sense of nausea. Vomiting may occur with the most serious cases of BPPV.
When the symptoms continue to worsen over time, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo may be a precursor or a warning of an impending health issue. It is not impossible for BPPV to be an early warning sign that conditions are favorable for the development of a brain tumor, Parkinson’s Disease, or some sort of heart ailment. The condition may also indicate that there is a definite risk of stroke unless some changes in lifestyle are not made in the near future.
Should the symptoms continue for more than two weeks, it is important to see a physician. Doctors can determine if there is any organic reason for the problem, such as a low-grade ear infection, or if the benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is an early sign of a more serious ailment. Potential treatments may include medication or even minor surgery, depending on the nature and scope of the reasons behind the disorientation. Once the physician has identified the underlying causes and successfully treated them, the BPPV will go away completely.
In the interim, people suffering with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo should take a few precautions while awaiting the results from the doctor. Sit down immediately when an attack commences. Move slowly and deliberately during the attack. Remind yourself that the attack will pass in a few seconds and don’t allow yourself to panic. Taking steps to protect yourself while your physician comes up with the right treatment series will minimize the chances of falling and injuring yourself or inadvertently causing an injury to another person.