Sudden changes in the position of the head can lead to vertigo and dizziness. When benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs, symptoms usually last less than one minute. The may be associated with nausea and vomiting. These episodes may sometimes occur several times a day.
Causes of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Balance is controlled through the vestibular apparatus. Within this apparatus, small calcium stones or otoliths, move on tine fibers. As these fibers are deformed, electrical impulses are generated that allows the brain to sense the position of the head. As people age, debris may slough off and press upon these sensitive fibers. By producing false signals to the brain, this debris results in benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
In addition, prior head injury or infections involving the vestibular apparatus may produce similar symptoms.
Signs and Symptoms of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
A sudden onset of dizziness and vertigo (spinning sensation of the person or the room) occurs. This is precipitated by sudden changes in position of the head. It is often associated with severe nausea and vomiting. There is loss of balance and the inability to walk during an attack.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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