BPPV, a common cause of vertigo, triggers a sudden sensation of spinning or movement within the head. It causes brief episodes of dizziness, typically triggered by specific changes in head position. BPPV symptoms include dizziness, a sense of spinning (vertigo), loss of balance, nausea, and sometimes vomiting. These symptoms can last less than a minute and may come and go, with activities that trigger them varying from person to person.
The inner ear plays a crucial role in BPPV. It contains semicircular canals and otolith organs with fluid and hairlike sensors. These sensors help focus our eyes when our head is in motion and maintain balance. BPPV often occurs when crystals in the otolith organs become dislodged and move into the semicircular canals, making them overly sensitive to head position changes.
Prevalence: The prevalence of BPPV varies widely, reported as 11 to 140 per 100,000 people. Cumulatively, the lifetime incidence for the general population is estimated at around 10%. Typically, BPPV presents between the fifth and seventh decades of life.
These statistics illustrate the widespread impact of BPPV, particularly among older adults and women, and highlight the importance of effective diagnosis and treatment to manage this condition.
At Liverpool Hearing Centre, we are able to ascertain which semicircular canal the crystals have found their way into and move them back out again, usually in one or two sessions.