Living with BPPV
In a lot of the patients that we see, they experience all of the symptoms of BPPV, but the results are often unclear when they undergo testing or they do not respond effectively to the standard treatment of BPPV. In these patients, it is likely that sensitivity in the central nervous system, specifically the brainstem, is the true cause. The afferent vestibular nerve sends normal information that reaches the sensitised brainstem, this information is wrongly interpreted as a threat and vertigo is experienced.
Symptoms of BPPV
BPPV is a condition that affects the inner ear. Small calcified crystals can become dislodged in the canals of the inner ear, that can alter your bodies perception of balance and head position, causing vestibular symptoms. The similarity of these symptoms to those of Vestibular Migraine mean that sufferers of Vestibular Migraine are misdiagnosed by health professionals as having BPPV.
Many of the patients that we see at Gold Coast Headache & Migraine Clinic have all of the symptoms of BPPV, but do not respond to treatment or the physical testing cannot accurately diagnose them.
How we treat BPPV
The Dix-Hallpike test and the supine-roll test has been developed to detect faults in the posterior and horizontal semi-circular canals respectively. These tests are designed to created a change the fluid -dynamics and the detection of the endo-lymph in the otolith organs.
Vertigo is experienced in a positive test and the therapist will observe for the presence and direction of nystagmus, or rapid beating of the eyes. It is very rare that the superior semi-circular canal is at fault during BPPV, however if it were to be, the Dix-Hallpike test would again be positive, and the therapist would observe upwards beating nystagmus in the patient.