Department of Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery

Benign Positional Vertigo

Benign positional vertigo, or BPV, is common cause of dramatic vertigo. It gets its name from the way that the symptoms only occur with a change in position, usually head-down, such as lying in bed or looking up. It is thought that the symptoms occur as a result of microscopic crystals of calcium carbonate become loose in the inner ear. These are able to move around, and in the head-down position, may cause irritation of the nerve endings that trigger vertigo.

Most case will resolve on their own, as the crystals slowly dissolve. This typically takes 6-8 weeks. The Epley Maneuver may be used to bring immediate relief. This is a simple office procedure that takes a few minutes. The results may be startlingly effective.

Any type of vertigo should be discussed with your physician.

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