A Common Cause of Dizziness – BPPV


What is BPPV?

BPPV stands for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo.

  • Benign – not lethal!
  • Paroxysmal – suddenly comes on
  • Positional – severity changes with your body position
  • Vertigo – dizziness where you feel the room is spinning

BPPV is one of the most common causes of vertigo – a type of dizziness where the room feels like it is spinning.

Your ears have crystals contained within “otolith organs”, parts of your body that enable you to sense the feeling of gravity and moving forward and backward. These otolith organs are attached to the semi-circular canals. Semi-circular canals are the tubes in your inner ear that are filled with fluid. They are very sensitive to the movement of the fluid contained within them.

Sometimes these crystals escape the organs and float freely in the canals. This disrupts the fluid shift within the canals, affecting your sense of gravity and movement. And that’s what causes the vertigo!

How to diagnose?

Your doctor/physiotherapist can diagnose this by doing the “Dix-Hallpike test”. If you have nystagmus (your eyes are shaky) then you probably have BPPV.

How to treat?

  • After that, your doctor/physiotherapist will/can try to treat it immediately by performing the Epley Maneuver. See the video below for more details.
  • Anti-histamines (e.g. buscopan, bonine)
  • Surgery (e.g. semi-circular canal occlusion) – very very last resort!

Where to get help?

Contact your family doctor or a local physiotherapist if you experience dizziness.

You can also find help by Posting A Job or Looking for a Healthcare Provider here on Medihelp247. We are a free-to-use website created to allow healthcare providers and seekers to find each other.


This blog is by Medihelp247 – a free platform that allows healthcare providers and seekers to connect directly.

Written by Dr. Bryan Lim

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