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What is positional vertigo?

Positional Vertigo, also known as “Benign Positional Vertigo”, “Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo” or “BPPV”, is caused by tiny calcium particles that have broken free from the balance detectors in the inner ear and are floating in the inner ear fluid. These “floaters” become trapped in the balance canals of the inner ear and cause them to become overly sensitive to head movements. Dizziness or feeling unbalanced are symptoms of vertigo. Metabolic, neuromuscular, and cerebrovascular disorders, as well as tumors or trauma, are common causes for dizziness but each is experienced in a different way and has its own different method of treatment.

Symptoms of Vertigo

  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed
  • Spinning
  • Feeling unbalanced or swaying
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea or sweating
  • Headaches
  • Eye twitches or abnormal jerks

Treatment for Vertigo

The treatment can vary depending on what is causing it. Medical treatment, like physical therapy, can help with vertigo. Practicing Semont Exercises, in which the head is held in a series of different positions to allow the floaters to fall out of the balance canal to another part of the inner ear to lessen their effect, can help. Other practices can be balancing and repositioning maneuvers. If medical treatment and balance exercises do not provide relief, there is a surgical treatment that can be performed to help lessen the dizziness. Ear Perfusion is easily performed as a simple outpatient procedure in which a small amount of medication is injected through a tiny hole in the eardrum into the middle ear space once daily for three consecutive days. This procedure reduces the sensitivity of the balance receptors in the inner ear, and can greatly reduce dizzy spells.

Shea Clinic Ear Nose & Throat is world-renowned for its otologic expertise, but we are also a full-service Ear, Nose, and Throat clinic. Whether it’s a minor ear infection, a serious case of dizziness, ringing in your ears, hearing loss, chronic sinus problems or allergies, or a need for facial cosmetic surgery, the Shea Clinic Ear Nose & Throat doctors can help.

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