The #1 Cause of Dizziness | Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – Diagnosis & Treatment

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The MOST Common Cause of Dizziness – Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) – Diagnosis & Treatment. Dr. Cliff Olson, Audiologist and founder of Applied Hearing Solutions in Phoenix Arizona, discusses the #1 cause of dizziness – BPPV.


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You know that feeling you get when you get off of a merry-go-round and you feel like you are still spinning? Well that is what it is like to have Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. BPPV causes dizziness following head movements or body position movements. Basically, if you have ever become dizzy by just rolling out of bed, you may have had BPPV at some point.

BPPV is the most common cause of dizziness. Let’s explore the description of BPPV. Benign means that it won’t kill you. Paroxysmal means that the episodes are of brief duration. Positional means that it is triggered by movement, and Vertigo is the sensation of movement, such as spinning, when there is no head movement.

BPPV occurs when crystals called otoconia, normally embedded in the utricle become dislodged and migrate out to one of the three fluid filled semicircular canals. These crystals DO NOT belong in the semicircular canals. As head positions change, cause additional stimulation of the sensory hair cells in the semicircular canals which sends false information to the brain which leads to the sensation of dizziness. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo with 50% of individuals over the age of 70 experiencing this type of dizziness.

Symptoms of BPPV may come and go, and you may feel symptom free for a period of time, as long as you refrain from significant head movement. It is important to know that hearing loss is not a symptom of BPPV. If you have hearing loss along with dizziness, this could indicate a serious medical condition and you should see your physician immediately.

Diagnosis of BPPV requires structured positional movements along with the evaluation of nystagmus which are involuntary eye movements. If a nystagmus is seen and the appropriate semicircular canal is identified, then treatment can be administered. According to Dr. Richard Gans of the American Institute of Balance ( treatments called Canalith Repositioning can be used to guide the dislodged crystals back into the Utricle. These repositioning techniques are extremely effective, but should only be done under the supervision and assistance of an individual specifically trained in the diagnosis and treatment of dizzy conditions.

Attempting to diagnose and treat BPPV yourself can be dangerous considering that if you perform treatment incorrectly, you could make your condition worse. The good news is, diagnosis and treatment of BPPV is relatively straight forward when treated by a specially trained Physician or Audiologist. Just make sure to follow your Doctors post treatment instructions.

So the next time you experience intense, brief spells of dizziness, when you change head or body position, make sure you contact your Audiologist or Physician to get your condition diagnosed as soon as possible.


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    1. I have experienceed same last month and yesterday.have you any problem in your ears

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      Some days I’m good some days not!!
      Vitamin B12 seems to help and vitamin D.

    2. @mario sejdiu are you fine now?if yes please tell me how,because i am feeling the same.Please help me🙏

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  7. I have it really bad dizziness when I wake up out of bed when I walk I feel like I’m gonna fall and I have sugar diabetes type 2 And fibromyalgia and osteoporosis that’s what my doctor newly diagnosed me they did a bone density test on me age 50 I don’t feel 50 years old but if I die then my native American spirit the Bird spirit will get out of my body and I will fly to the heavens I don’t belong to be a human my native American friends had said I had a bird spirit they Saul right through me

  8. I’m a kid I went to my baby sister house with a tons of kids and I was in the office chair and they spin me

  9. i lay down to sleep saturday night and soon as i lay down the room started spinning, been dizzy and having motion sickness ever since :/

    1. I wanted to show to ENT doctor but he wasn’t there so I went to Physician doctor. He gave me Supravit tablet and Pandom-D SR. Pandom-D Sr was for stop vomiting I think.. but check before use.. hope it helps

    2. @Lord Quinaround 3rd day of my medication I was feeling ok.. I m fine now.. I recomend u to show to ur doctor.. resting at home wont help. Go to doctor.

  10. When i spray my fragrence i have some feel in my head. Something like dizzynes for Like 30 secunds. I Like my fragrances. What is it? IT is Like some not headeak, not dizzyness, but something in betwean. Do i need to worry about it?

    I Also have epilepsy but never had from eny fragrance.thanks, i subscribe and hope you wil answer my questtion.

  11. Doctor I’m not sure what happened to me, I feel dizzy. Went to doctor but doctor couldn’t find any cause even took blood test. Nothing. It’s been 3 days already 😕 what should I do.

    1. From your eyes ? You use ur phone a lot before bed , you don’t walk enough you not resting enough change your habit

  12. I was diagnosed with this. My doctor gave a paperwork to do the Epley maneuver on my own. It seems like it is making it worse.

    1. @草 almost 14 days , I visited a doctor so he gave me some medicine , such but the main thing is I slept the whole day , and Took rest for 14 days , ❤️

  13. Hi, can you help answer this question. I am 13 years old and I have been experiencing dizzyness for more than half my life. For me, I stand still and the symptoms come. The longer I stand still, the worse the dizzyness.

    1. I would recommend you get to an audiologist for a diagnosis of your condition.

  14. This happened to me a lot when I was stressed when my brother was going through chemo. I’ve noticed it’s induced significantly by stress and I also feel Zyrtec increased the odds of getting these symptoms.

  15. I have very slight dizziness. I might say light headedness. But I have a continuous mild headache at the base of the skull and forehead. Is this common?

    1. @kagisho Pitjadi I know of a doctor who can help you get rid of your illness permanently, he saved my life from this same sickness of yours with the help of his herbs and I really appreciate it, he can also help you get rid yours too, if you need his help I can connect you to him!

  16. Thank you this dr cliff. I have had 2 episodes of bppv – approximately 7/8 months apart. Could an osteopath / chiropractor resolve symptoms? (Not via any of the ‘maneuvers’ but via cranial work and realignment? Thank you

  17. Today I was sitting on my bed and I suddenly felt dizzy. It only lasted for around 10 seconds. This is the first time this has ever happened to me and idk what it is

  18. I have been having a slight ringing in my left ear for more than a month now and that same ear feels congested with sinuses I woke up this morning and my body feeling tired and having a light head what should I do? I have been drinking water and putting my head between my legs and I still feel the same

    1. Cynthia Buttry yeah mine has seemed to be more calm now I seem to only get tinnitus from only my left ear now from loud obnoxious noises especially my moms drying machine

    2. @Bofa Boy Yes, i had to take antibiotics for the Labrynthitis and eventually the dizziness stopped but I’ve always had sinus & ear issues since teenage years. Seeing an ENT specialist is probably helpful.

    3. Cynthia Buttry oh wow that sucks well at least it can be fixed I hope so atleast

  19. I don’t really know what happened. I basically got out of a really hot shower. I began to feel dizzy and body began to feel like jelly but was aching at the same time. I grab my towel and wrap it round me. I suddenly got this overwhelming feeling of nausea. My vision blurred and my hearing became muffled. When I spoke I could barely hear myself. Then there was a high pitched ringing in my ears and my tunnelled vision turned white. It only lasted about 5 minutes but I’d never experienced anything like this in my life. It was so scary. At the time I thought I was about to die I literally didn’t know what was happening.

    1. Doesn’t sound fun. Might be worth having your ears checked to see if there is residual hearing loss or something else going on that caused it.

  20. This was the very best explanation of my symptoms I’ve observed. Thank you very much. I will be contacting my primary care physician for referral. During this Corona crisis, I assumed seeing anyone would be monumental. Again, thank you.

  21. Kudos for the video content! Apologies for the intrusion, I would appreciate your thoughts. Have you thought about – Schallingora Automatically Update Scheme (google it)? It is a good one off guide for getting rid of virtigo without the headache without the hard work. Ive heard some super things about it and my best friend Jordan got great results with it.

  22. Kudos for the video content! Forgive me for the intrusion, I would appreciate your thoughts. Have you tried – Schallingora Automatically Update Scheme (erm, check it on google should be there)? It is an awesome one of a kind product for getting rid of virtigo without the headache without the hard work. Ive heard some awesome things about it and my BF after many years got great results with it.

  23. Have to sleep on my left hand side. If I turn over onto my right my head goes round like a top. It’s pretty scary, feels like loss of control.

    1. @tasiawful1 The Epley Manoeuvre is probably best to treat it. I am having it done in a few weeks time and I’m not looking forward to it but it will be worth going through with it, if it works.

    2. @Tameka Renee You need to see a Vestibular Audiologist or a Physio skilled in balance disorders to treat you. It’s scary but it’s not serious and it can be treated effectively with the right medical staff.

  24. doctor, i have long term feeling of dizziness during the day, but when i wake up in the morning i don’t feel any dizziness for like two to three hours then the dizzyness start for the whole day, i went to a general doctor he told me its ear infection that was 10 days ago and i still fell dizzy till now, what it might be as am really tired of taking antibiotics every day for an unknown reason.

  25. I feel like I got this when at work I got all the symptoms however the extreme dizziness stayed for days and died down and stayed with me for months

  26. So what typically is the cause of the crystals being dislodged? I have had three episodes of this condition. Two in the last two months.The last time both ears were affected. I am frustrated and would love to know what life style changes are needed to prevent this from occurring again.

    1. No one seems to know and this is frustrating. Both cases it happened to me, I turned quickly in my sleep. I turn in my sleep a lot actually. So recently, I’ll turn very slowly. I also will try not to sleep on the side when I get it.

  27. Hi Dr. Cliff. Love your videos. Could you please do one on the different types of vertigo besides BPPV and on meniere’s disease? Additionally a video on the latest options in bone conduction hearing devices would be much appreciated. Thank you.

  28. I had a serious bout of this back in 2004 or 2005… and, to my delight, my ENT performed the “Epley Maneuver” (you describe in the generic). It worked beautifully and I’ve never had the problem again!!! So simple.

    1. @kuloba agnes Definitely… see an ENT to get the Epley Maneuver done on you. It’s quick and easy, and usually works.

    2. Glad to hear there is a solution. I have a mild case of this. It’s slowly going away but I’m sure it’ll probably come back.

    1. I have the same last month and yesterday,2 months ago my ear get infected like white dry wax thin layer blocked the ear.after anti fungal eardrops,its got cure.its can be due to this???

    2. The crystals can only dissolve in the Utricle which is why canalith repositioning is so important.

  29. I went to get my ear cleaned from my doctor today but when water went into my ear it hurt a lot and I had a sharp pain followed by dizziness. She saw no irritation through an osteoscope.There was no fluid leakage so I assume my ear drum is fine but my ear feels even more clogged now and my ear won’t “pop” anymore. Any idea what happened to my ear?

    1. Did she perform a tympanometry test to confirm that there isn’t a perforation in your eardrum?

  30. We are ALL going to have a vertigo event at some point in our lives. The best place to go is straight the the ENT.

  31. It’s so common, and so scary if you don’t know what’s going on. But easy to treat if you get to the ENT or audiologist.

    1. @Evelyn Sandoval I feel for you. the first thing I do when I go through an episode is call someone, for comfort. I hope mine don’t get worst.

    2. @Evelyn Sandoval i jus got this today..feel like on d boat cant even walk..rushed to emergency with wheelchair n was referred to ENT

  32. I was misdiagnosed with BPPD, practised the Carol Foster cannolis repositioning exercises to no avail. Ended up in Emergency after passing out, heart was missing series of beats, pacemaker was the answer.

    1. That’s CRAZY! Glad you didn’t die in the process of figuring out the cause.

    2. David Anderson wow, I’m glad they ended up getting the correct diagnosis in the end.

  33. The man really nailed a common and under appreciated/understood experience a lot of folks go through.

    1. Nice Video! Forgive me for the intrusion, I’m interested in your thoughts. Have you considered – Schallingora Automatically Update Scheme (search on google)? It’s a great one off product for getting rid of virtigo without the headache minus the headache. I’ve heard some awesome things about it and my mate at last got cool results with it.

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