Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) causes brief bursts of vertigo (spinning or motion sensation) triggered by turning the head in certain positions. Within the inner ear balance center are microscopic crystals (called “otoliths”) that are usually and normally embedded within the inner ear. For various reasons, these crystals in the inner ear can become dislodged from their proper location. As a result, when a person with BPPV moves his or her head in certain directions, the otoliths move through the canals of the inner ear causing vertigo. In some cases, head trauma will cause BPPV, but in many cases the exact cause is unknown.
Frequently, the vertigo of BPPV will resolve without any specific treatment. However, if symptoms persist it may be necessary to reposition the otoliths crystals back into their proper location to relieve the dizzy symptoms. Through a series of head movements and body positions, the otoliths can be put back where they belong. This is called the Canalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP), also commonly known at the Epley Maneuver. CRP can bring dramatic improvements, and even completely eliminate the symptoms of BPPV. This procedure is non-invasive and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. CRP is approximately 95percent effective on the first treatment, but can be repeated several times as needed if symptoms persist. Only in rare, severe cases would surgery be needed.