Does it feel like you are spinning or the room is moving around you? That’s a classic sign of a particular type of dizziness called vertigo. It’s more than feeling off-kilter and usually gets worse when you move your head. This is a symptom that there is an issue in the inner ear or part of the brainstem governing balance. The most common kind is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is triggered by certain changes in head position, such as tripping the head up or down. It is rarely serious unless it increases with the risk of falling.
The signs and symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) may include:
- A sense that you or your surroundings are spinning or moving (vertigo)
- A loss of balance or unsteadiness
The signs and symptoms of BPPV can come and go and commonly last less than one minute. Episodes of BPPV can disappear for some time and then recur.
Activities that bring about the signs and symptoms of BPPV can vary from person to person, but are almost always brought on by a change in head position. Some people also feel out of balance when standing or walking. Abnormal rhythmic eye movements usually accompany the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo occurs most often in people age 50 and older, but can occur at any age. BPPV is also more common in women than in men. A head injury or any other disorder of the balance organs of your ear may make you more susceptible to BPPV.
Although BPPV is uncomfortable, it rarely causes complications. The dizziness of BPPV can make you unsteady, which may put you at greater risk of falling.