Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo


Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV for short, is one of the most common causes of vertigo experienced around the world. BPPV causes you to feel brief episodes of vertigo and dizziness, ranging from mild to intense. These episodes can be caused by quick and specific changes to the head, such as tipping your head up or down, lying down or sitting up on the bed, or even turning over in bed.
BPPV is often characterized by the following symptoms:
  • Sudden onset vertigo
  • Worse on head movement
  • Associated with nausea and/ or vomiting
  • Loss of balance and steady gait
You should also consider reaching out to an ENT specialist if your BPPV episodes are severe, prolonged or very frequent.
BPPV is often called idiopathic BPPV due to the fact that there is often no specific cause for its origin. However, BPPV can be associated with head trauma and recent upper respiratory tract infections.


Upon proper consultation with the ENT specialist, you will be given an accurate diagnosis and the appropriate treatment for you. Treatment involves:
  • Canalith repositioning: this procedure entails slow maneuvers to help position your head. These maneuvers help move particles in the canals to the vestibule, where it can be reabsorbed. You may require more than one session depending on your case
  • Balance physiotherapy exercises (at home or supervised)
BPPV cannot be completely prevented. However, you can follow a few steps to ensure that you are prepared for your next BPPV episode, and also in control of it next time. These include:
  • Avoid sudden head movements that can trigger your BPPV
  • Sit down immediately when you feel dizzy
  • Make sure there is good lighting if you are getting up at night
  • Avoid exercise which involve vigorous head movements

Adult ENT