Treatment of Dizziness or Vertigo

Posted in: Headache | 6

Dizziness or Vertigo due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is fairly common but can feel debilitating.  It can be difficult to walk, stand or sit without dizziness or sometimes nausea.  It is caused by a piece of crystal in your inner ear coming loose and positioning itself incorrectly.  The good news is that it is a relatively harmless safe condition and it can be effectively treated with certain exercises.

The first step to treatment is a visit to your doctor to diagnose the condition.  Your doctor may even be able to treat you by performing the Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre.  If you doctor can’t perform the maneuvre, be sure that they diagnose which ear is affected and visit a physiotherapist that can perform the maneuvre for you.

 The Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre

The Epley Maneuvre or Canalith Repositioning Maneuvre puts the patient in a series of positions in order to encourage the crystal to float back to its normal place in the inner ear.

The Epley Maneuvre:

– pillow under back to give 30 degrees extension of the head
– Start facing the affected side.  Face left if the left ear is affected
– wait 30 seconds after symptoms subside to change positions

The general procedure is:

  1. lie on your back with a pillow under your shoulders.  Your head is 45 degrees rotated towards affected ear and 30 degrees extended
  2. head is 45 degrees rotated away from the affected ear and 30 degrees extended
  3. roll onto your side away from the affected ear with your head rotated so that you are looking at the floor
  4. come up to a seated position and look straight ahead

 

Home care:

– Do not sleep flat for 2 days.  This can be done by sleeping in a reclining chair at an angle of about 45 degrees.
– For one week try to avoid moving your head in ways that might provoke another reaction.  Avoid the hairdresser, sports, looking up or down while working.

It  is quite slow and gentle as you can see in the following videos.  This first video shows the Epley Maneuvre for BPP Vertigo of the left ear:

The next video shows the Epley Maneuvre for BPP Vertigo of the right ear

 

Brandt-Daroff Repositioning/Habituation Exercises

After you are treated, you can do the Brandt-Daroff Repositioning/Habituation Exercises at home on your own. The following video explains the Brandt-Daroff Exercises:

 

Hopefully these exercises will help you get your life back to normal.  A word of caution: This condition often reoccurs after a few years and treatment may need to be repeated.

6 Responses

  1. very good article you’ve read it and I love you as you put the two videos and explains where to do exercises for canalith repositioning. Very good treatment and I recommend it to my friends! Congratulations

  2. giselle

    Iam gonna try ,i have 28 and for the first time I felt hopeless when I felt dizzy,for sure ill comeback with more comments. Thanks for the videos.

  3. giselle

    Can I make a appointment for some vertigo treatment?

    • Giselle, Perhaps it would be best if you emailed or called me for some advice

  4. Hi, My physio says he doesn’t deal with this. How do I tell which ear is causing my problem. I’m in Windsor ontario. Thanks

    • Hi Jane,

      It might be a good idea to look around a bit more. You should be able to find a physiotherapist in Windsor that is familiar with it. If not, try an ear nose throat doctor. They may be able to help you.