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Vertigo in patients with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Helsinki University Hospital, Finland.


We retrieved information on 59 patients, 19 men and 40 women, with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) from the database of the otoneurologic expert system (ONE). The original number of patients was greater, but we excluded all those with hearing loss of any origin. The patients filled in a questionnaire concerning their symptoms, earlier diseases, accidents and tobacco and alcohol use. This information was then integrated with results of audiometric, otoneurologic and imaging studies. The mean age at onset of symptoms was 44 years. Most patients had had vertiginous spells for < 1 year. None of the patients had hearing loss. Tinnitus was experienced by 32% of patients, and these patients experienced more anxiety than the others [r(53) = 0.40, p < 0.01]. The mean duration of the vertigo attacks ranged from a few seconds to 5 min, and they were fairly mild (26%) or moderate (41%) in intensity. The attacks were perceived as more intense if vertigo was rotational [r(54) = 0.60, p < 0.01] or if it was accompanied by nausea [r(58) = 0.42, p < 0.01]. Patients with headache had more intense attacks [r(58) = 0.36, p < 0.01]. The vertigo attacks occurred in spells; patients had several attacks a week (23%) or during the course of 1 day (52%). The vertigo was rotational in 80% of patients, and 47% experienced a floating sensation. The floating vertigo was most often provoked by pressure changes [r(54) = 0.41, p < 0.01] or changes in visual surroundings [r(54) = 0.52, p < 0.01].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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