Dizziness and vertigo may be caused by any number of health issues. Most causes are minor and treatable through healthy living tips and exercises developed as healthy habits. The most common cause of vertigo, particularly in the elderly, is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV, which is an inner ear condition.
If you think you may be suffering from BPPV, lie down with the affected ear toward the floor. BPPV will trigger a brief but intense feeling of the world spinning around.
What Causes BPPV?
The inner ear is a series of semi-circular canals filled with fluid, nerves and fine hairs for hearing. BPPV is caused by loose calcium carbonate crystals called otoconia. These crystals are normally attached to the lining but if they break loose and tumble around the inner ear, they abnormally touch the sensory receptors causing dizziness, vertigo, disorientation and loss of balance.
The best non-surgical treatment for BPPV is to maneuver these loose particles into an area of the inner ear where they cannot trigger the receptors. This is done through simple repetitive exercises that move the head around and can be completed in just a few minutes. Healthy habits include repeating these exercises regularly to maintain efficacy.
Healthy Living Tips for BPPV Using Particle Repositioning Maneuvers
Particle positioning maneuvers are a safe and natural way to treat BPPV. They are 95% successful and the only side effect may be initial nausea or vomiting triggered by the BPPV.
If the sufferer has not ascertained which ear is affected, the Brandt-Daroff Maneuver is the best option. Those who know which ear is affected should use the Epley Maneuver.
- The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver
Sit on the edge of the bed with your feet on the floor. Lay your head down sideways and tuck your feet up onto the bed so you are lying on one side. Keep your head in a fixed position, focusing on the head of an imaginary person stood about six feet from the bed. Lie still until the dizziness (if any) subsides. Return to the sitting position for 30 seconds then lie down on the opposite side, keeping your eyes fixed at that same imaginary point. The Brandt-Daroff Maneuver should be done three times a day and repeated five times per session for two weeks.
- Epley Maneuver for DPPV
Sit on the bed with your legs stretched out in front toward the foot of the bed. Turn the head 90 degrees to the left then lie down on your back, maintaining the head’s position. After 30 seconds, move the head to the right side and rest another 30 seconds. Roll the body onto the right side for 30 seconds then sit up in the original position. Rest for one minute. Repeat the cycle three times as a healthy habit for helping to alleviate BPPV each night before sleep.
If these maneuvers do not cure vertigo within two weeks, sufferers should consult their doctor to diagnose the cause.