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.
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.
My husband had vertigo 3 yrs ago, ended up with triple by pass and a memory problem. Past 3 yrs memory gotten worse. Has tinnitus from Vietnam service. Past 3 yrs has had 2 angiograms and this past Dec, 2019 had triple hernia surgery. Memory got even more worse. Any ideas?
First of all, your husband is very lucky to have you in his corner! You sound like a wonderful health advocate.
Certainly, if your husband is still having vertigo, dizziness, balance problems, or falls, then you can consult with a Vestibular Physical Therapist.
This blog will help you find someone in your area with that specialty.
The tinnitus from military service is likely due to permanent damage to the ear. This is a common complaint among military veterans. Please be sure to thank your husband for his service to our country, on my behalf.
This blog has some information about tinnitus. There are new “tinnitus canceling hearing aides” that some people choose to invest in to get relief.
With the series of cardiac surgeries that you described, I would suspect that your husband has plaques built up in his blood vessels. This is called atherosclerosis or atherosclerotic plaques.
These atherosclerotic plaques are a common cause of triple bypass surgery.
If that is the case, then he may also have atherosclerotic plaques in the smaller blood vessels, called capillaries.
Some people with atherosclerotic plaques in the capillaries within their brain can experience memory problems.
My suggestion is to consult with a neurologist who specializes in memory loss.
Also, anesthesia medication can sometimes worsen memory loss for people with that problem.
As you research memory loss, you may find information that is well accepted as “evidence-based” and other information that remains unsubstantiated so far and is controversial.
For example, this article by Mary T. Newport, M.D. is considered controversial information.
Dr. Newport was caring for her husband with memory loss when she first published his case study over ten years ago. Since then, she has gone on the become an outspoken advocate for nutritional intervention to help with memory loss.
Many doctors and researchers do not accept her theories. However, I have met many caregivers who had success with her dietary suggestions.
I wish you all the best! Caring for someone with memory loss is a lot of work.
As a caregiver, it is very important that you find local resources and social support, so that you do not get burned out.
All my best,
Kim Bell, DPT
I had a vertigo attack one month back. Before that I was dizzy for two days. After two days ENT doctor did test and correction. After that vertigo has not occur but till today i feel foggy sensation. At night when i turn I feel something is moving and slight nausea but very little.
Does this mean that the procedure done was not effective or it is normal to feel?
I am doing VRT.
I am a physiotharapist and pulates teacher.
I dont know how BPPV happened.
I am 5 months postpartum and have a 15 year old history of hairline temporal bone fracture and bells palsy.
I lost my hearing during regular ear cleaning at age of 10.
I AM NOW 34 year old.
I do have trigger point around neck. Can that be cause of vertigo?
Should i recheck for BPPV?
Wow! That is quite a story. I am sorry to hear what you are going through.
I think you are taking good action steps and asking the right questions. The root cause(s) of your discomfort need to be identified and addressed for the best recovery.
Vertigo can have many root causes. Vertigo can be related to BPPV, your neck, skull fractures, viral infections of nerves in the head, and even hormone fluctuations.
The following blogs may be helpful to you:
Dizziness with Head Turns
Can I have more than one cause of my Vertigo?
BPPV Causes: What are They?
Common Causes of BPPV
What Causes Dizziness?
What is The Bell Method?
You may need more BPPV treatment. You may need orthopedic care. I suggest you work closely with your VRT PT and your doctors to determine the root cause(s).
Dr. Kim Bell, DPT
I’ve been googling and seem to think my vertigo comes from a very bad tooth infection. I am at the hospital now because I was scared my balance is off and off can’t lie down on my back it feels like I’m on a merry go round.
You may be interested in this article on the connection between vertigo and teeth.
I hope you are feeling better!
I am a ankylosing spondilitis patient with fusing spine and bilateral THR in 2017.
Now i am planning to undergo inguinal hernia surgery next month.
But for the past week i am feeling pulsating sensation (back of my head) when i sleep on my back and spinning head.
These symptoms is mostly matching with BPPV.
I am wondering can i go for the surgery as i have already postponed it for more than a year due to covid.
It sounds like you are having a rough time! I am not able to advise you on your surgery, so I suggest you discuss this concern with your doctors.
When you are ready to address the symptoms you are having lying on your back, I suggest that you consult with two different types of specialized physical therapists.
You can find a Vestibular physical therapist to assess and treat any BPPV using this article.
You can find an orthopedic manual physical therapist to check out your neck bones alignment by using this referral list.
You may be interested in checking out this video lecture where I discuss both BPPV and neck problems related to dizziness.
I hope that helps!
Kim Bell, DPT