Home > Health A – Z > Vertigo

Vertigo

A type of dizziness with a sensation of spinning.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Cancer Institute)

About Vertigo

Dizziness or a sensation of whirling or irregular motion that arises from problems within the vestibular portion of the inner ear.

Objective vertigo is the name given the sensation that the world is spinning about the patient. Subjective vertigo indicates the patient feels he is moving in space. NIH - National Cancer Institute

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

The Epley manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a rapid change in head movement. The person feels they or their surroundings are moving or rotating. Common causes are head trauma or ear infection. BPPV can be caused by debris in the semicircular canal of the ear, which continues to move after the head has stopped moving. This causes a sensation of ongoing movement that conflicts with other sensory information. The Epley manoeuvre is a treatment that is performed by a doctor (or other health personnel with appropriate training, e.g. audiological scientist, physiotherapist) and involves a series of four movements of the head and body from sitting to lying, rolling over and back to sitting. It is understood to work by moving the canal debris out of the semicircular canal. This linked video demonstrates how the Epley manoeuvre is performed.

Modifications of the Epley manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxsymal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by rapid changes in head position. The person feels they or their surroundings are moving or rotating. Common causes appear to be head trauma or types of ear infection. BPPV can be caused by particles in the semicircular canal of the inner ear that continue to move when the head has stopped moving. This causes a sensation of ongoing movement that conflicts with other sensory information. The Epley manoeuvre has been shown to improve the symptoms of BPPV. This is a procedure that moves the head and body in four different movements and is designed to remove the particles (causing the underlying problem) from the semicircular canals in the inner ear. A range of modifications of the Epley manoeuvre are now used in clinical practice, including applying vibration to the mastoid bone behind the ear during the manoeuvre, having a programme of balance exercises after the manoeuvre has been done, and placing restrictions on a patient's position (for example, not sleeping on the affected ear for a few days). There are also a number of different ways to do the manoeuvre.

Anterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment techniques

Bibliographic details: Kinne BL, Crouch NA, Strace CL.  Anterior canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo treatment techniques. Physical Therapy Reviews 2014; 19(2): 79-85 Available from: http://www.maneyonline.com/doi/abs/10.1179/1743288X13Y.0000000112

See all (127)

Summaries for consumers

Positional vertigo: Can the Epley maneuver help against sudden attacks of dizziness?

The Epley maneuver is a simple treatment for the relief of a type of vertigo known as “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (BPPV). It is considered as a treatment option if the vertigo is being caused by deposits in the ear’s organ of balance.

Positional vertigo: Overview

Getting up and feeling like everything around you has suddenly started spinning is anything but pleasant. About 2% of the population are affected by “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo” (BPPV) at some point in their lives. Research has shown that an approach known as the Epley maneuver can help the dizziness go away again in a lot of people.

The Epley manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is caused by a rapid change in head movement. The person feels they or their surroundings are moving or rotating. Common causes are head trauma or ear infection. BPPV can be caused by debris in the semicircular canal of the ear, which continues to move after the head has stopped moving. This causes a sensation of ongoing movement that conflicts with other sensory information. The Epley manoeuvre is a treatment that is performed by a doctor (or other health personnel with appropriate training, e.g. audiological scientist, physiotherapist) and involves a series of four movements of the head and body from sitting to lying, rolling over and back to sitting. It is understood to work by moving the canal debris out of the semicircular canal. This linked video demonstrates how the Epley manoeuvre is performed.

See all (22)

More about Vertigo

Photo of an adult

Also called: Rotary vertigo, Rotatory vertigo

See Also: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, Meniere's Disease

Other terms to know:
Inner Ear, Labyrinth (Vestibular System)

Keep up with systematic reviews on Vertigo:

RSS

PubMed Health Blog...

read all...