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Aethelwine's avatar

Have you dealt with Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

Asked by Aethelwine (42465points) June 12th, 2010

I just spent my Saturday morning in Urgent Care for dizziness that I have dealt with since Wednesday. The doctor said it is most likely BPPV, prescribed Antivert, told me to follow up with my doctor next week, and to come back if conditions worsen so I can have a CT scan to look for a possible tumor.

Can you tell me about your experience with Vertigo, and what I might expect within the next week or so?

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11 Answers

janbb's avatar

I haven’t had BPPV but I’ve had labyrinthitus twice with extreme dizziness. The first time it lasted about 36 hours; the second time was shorter. Antivert really helped me; I try to always have some around in case I get it again. It may make you sleepy but it should really help.

That’s scary and upsetting @jonsblond. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

marinelife's avatar

I have had it, and it is not fun! The best thing you can do for it is the exercises that were developed for at home use. It seems weird, but they reset the little grains that are out of position.

Do them twice a day at minimum. Start right away. If you start to get gradually better, you will know that it is BPPV and that will be a relief.

Also, I don’t know what your triggers are. For me, it happens now when I fly more than once in a week.

PM if you want to discuss it some more. (I kept a wastebasket by the best the first time, because I got so dizzy I was nauseous.)

gailcalled's avatar

Once tumors have been ruled out, see an ENT specialist as soon as possible; you make be eligible for the Epley maneuvres (better done by doc. than the home exercises).

I had one horrible bout, where the room spun around like a merry-go-round. I had to crawl to toilet on hands and knees for two days. Epley was very helpful.

Always avoid being jerked up and down in a dentist’s chair. I have them position the chair and then I climb in. The other kiss of death is having your hair shampooed at the salon, where you have to tilt your head way, way back. I now shampoo and condition my hair in the shower and then arrive for haircut with clean hair.

I also no longer tilt my head up to look at the roof of the sky, unless I am lying in a deck chair. And I am mindful when getting out of bed. Roll over, pause; sit up, pause; stand up slowly.

@Marinelife; Your link brings up a spray cleaning bottle.

—-Apparently it is also a symptom of a really good brain. I wonder whether @Jeruba suffers from BPPV also.—

Aethelwine's avatar

@marinelife The doctor did mention that I would need to start exercises. I appreciate the link so I can get a head start before my visit next week, unfortunately the link is for Goo Gone. if only it were that simple :)

@gailcalled I have the same triggers as you. Any sudden movement of my head makes the room spin. The scariest moment for me was when I was driving Thursday. I went to take a left turn, quickly looked to the right, then suddenly became dizzy. Luckily I made it home safely. Thank you for answering.

janbb's avatar

And whatever else you do, don’t somersault!

augustlan's avatar

My daughter, Fly, suffered from terrible dizziness for a few weeks a while back. After having a head scan which found nothing wrong with her brain, it was determined that it was related to migraines. She wasn’t even actively having migraines at the time, but the neurologist felt certain that it was all part and parcel of the same thing… a migraine syndrome. He said, “Treat the migraine syndrome, and the dizziness will go away.” He prescribed daily meds for the underlying problem, and lo and behold, he was right! The dizziness went away. She still takes the meds every day. I can’t remember what it’s called, but I know she answered a ‘migraines in children’ question very recently that included all this info. If you browse her answers, I’m sure it’ll be easy to find. Good luck!

syz's avatar

My Mom went to the emergency room just a few weeks ago for this. She and Dad were both convinced that she was dying of a stroke. If you managed to wait a few days before seeking help, you should be aware that the attacks can be much more severe. Mom has admitted that if she’d had this attack while driving (or even walking down a set of stairs), she would have died.

I had never heard of “crystals” in the ear, but it’s apparently fairly common. These are some of the best sites that I found when collecting information for her:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vertigo/ds00534
http://www.webmd.com/brain/tc/benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv-topic-overview
http://www.tchain.com/otoneurology/disorders/bppv/bppv.html

After a series of physical therapy treatments that involved the prescribed “exercises”, Mom recovered pretty much completely and is now on a cruise in Alaska celebrating her 40th anniversary. (Apparently the mechanism that causes sea sickness and altitude sensitivity is a different process, so she got the “all clear” to go.)

Aethelwine's avatar

@syz Thank you. Your information is very helpful, and your story about your mom puts my mind at ease.

marinelife's avatar

@jonsblond and @gailcalled So sorry about the link. Here is the correct one.

marinelife's avatar

Oh, by the way, it is also rudely called Old Lady disease. Don’t tilt your head back to reach something off a high shelf or cabinet either.

gailcalled's avatar

@marinelife: We found the same link, as did @syz (of course).

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