Have Symptoms of BPPV? What to Do

It is very important to act as soon as possible if you feel like you have symptoms of BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). There are a few different steps that someone can take to get themselves the care that they need if they are experiencing BPPV symptoms.

You should always notify your primary care doctor. They will likely run diagnostic testing, which will take some time to get the results in order to move forward with treatment.

What does the Research say?

In the literature that has been published by the American Academy of Otolaryngology, they state that a clinical examination by a vestibular specialist using their hands and basic simple instruments is superior to an MRI and a CT scan in the majority of cases of dizziness and vertigo.

This literature also states that people with BPPV are often subject to unnecessary diagnostic testing, inappropriate medications, and delays in care lasting for weeks to months.

I have met many people who have experienced symptoms of BPPV for more than ten years!

Are Diagnostic Tests Needed?

Diagnostic testing is very important to do if a problem with your brain or a problem with your heart is suspected.

Those problems are life threatening problems so they need to be discovered if present, but those are not always the issues that people with dizziness are facing.

Some people decide “You know what, I don’t want to go down the road of all of these diagnostic tests. I am going to use direct access and go right to a vestibular expert for my symptoms of BPPV.”

How can I get to a Vestibular Expert more quickly?

Yesterday I got three calls and today I got two calls from new patients with symptoms of BPPV that are choosing to come straight to me through direct access to physical therapy.

Under California state law, physical therapists like me can assess the patient and treat symptoms of BPPV without a referral from a physician.

If I think they need to see a different type of specialist or another medical professional, like say a certain type of medical doctor, then I will direct them to that doctor.

I have built a trusted network of specialty physicians so I can refer my patients.

Take Action!

I always encourage people to alert their primary care doctor if they have symptoms of BPPV.

Then I suggest that they contact me as soon as possible, or another physical therapist who specializes in Vestibular Rehabilitation.

If I can see them soon enough, or if they can get the BPPV crystals treated soon enough by another physical therapist who provides vestibular care, we can prevent the secondary effects of the BPPV from developing or worsening.

The Sooner, The Better

People who delay getting symptoms of BPPV treated usually end up needing more therapy afterwards to get their balance back!

Their brain had to make so many adjustments and changes in the way that it balances because of the constant error in the signal coming from the inner ear that had BPPV. This takes awhile to correct after the BPPV is resolved.

It takes some Vestibular rehabilitation with physical therapy, or it just takes some time being active with normal activities, to recover their balance for people who have had chronic BPPV.

Some people with BPPV symptoms choose the “wait and see” approach. But I recommend for people not to delay and not to wait!

I want you to get your life back! I highly recommend for people to really advocate for themselves and seek out the proper care as quickly as possible if they have symptoms of BPPV.

How to Find Help for BPPV Symptoms

For guidance on How to Find a Vertigo Specialist in your area, click here.

For seven reasons to seek professional vertigo help, click here.


This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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