Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
This is the most common cause for vertigo. It is a mechanical issue where particles (calcium carbonate crystals) that belong in a specific part of the inner become dislodged from the surface that they should normally be and they enter into one or more than one of the semicircular canals.
- Benign: not life threatening
- Paroxysmal: come on suddenly
- Positional: symptoms occur when the head is in particular positions in relation to gravity
- Vertigo: the sense of the environment moving/ spinning
Once in these canals, if the head changes position in relation to gravity these particles can move. When the particles are in motion, they stimulate the system and cause the person to feel symptoms of spinning/ vertigo.
The symptoms last usually less than a minute because they will subside once those particles settle to the lowest point within the canal.
This type of vertigo can resolve spontaneously where the symptoms go away on their own or will require treatments that involve moving the head in such a way that the particles are moved out of the canals and back to the area where they belong.