New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of dizziness or vertigo in adults.

BPPV occurs because tiny little calcium crystals, that everyone has in their inner ear as a part of the normal organ of balance, break off and move around with position change. These calcium crystals can break loose as a result of head trauma, a virus, or for no apparent reason at all. People with BPPV most commonly become dizzy when rolling over in bed or when looking up or down.

How is BPPV Diagnosed?
BPPV is diagnosed by observing a patient's eyes while the head is manipulated to provoke vertigo. This maneuver, called a Dix-Hallpike Maneuver, can confirm the diagnosis and tell the clinician which ear, and what part of that ear, is problematic.

How is BPPV Treated?
The treatment for BPPV is a series of customized head exercises, based upon what is seen in the patient's eyes.

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