Dizziness is often described as lightheaded, dizzy, or out of balance. It is defined more as a condition as some people experience spins or things moving in their surroundings. We all feel dizzy from time to time, and usually, it is not a sign of concern. In most cases, dizziness occurs when there is a drop in one’s blood pressure. However, this solves on its own when people lie down.
At times, feeling dizzy can go unnoticed, and sometimes it can make you lose your balance which is primarily a severe condition. But, feeling dizzy even when you lay down could indicate or point towards something serious. This alarming condition is known as vertigo.
However, this article will discuss the symptoms, types, tips, and when you should reach out for professional medical help.
Causes of Dizziness
Since feeling dizzy is a common condition, there are many causes as to why dizziness occurs, and they vary from person to person. Apart from the common causes such as the drop in blood pressure, dehydration, and anaemia, vertigo related dizziness can also be blamed on benign positional vertigo.
If you’re trying to figure out why you feel dizzy even when you lie down, then aside from vertigo, inner ear problems affect the balance. Drinking alcohol and in-taking tobacco can also make you feel lightheaded since they heavily influence the sensory organs.
Another one of the causes of dizziness is labyrinthitis. Labyrinthitis is an ear infection that attacks the hearing and maintains balance. This again leads to vertigo.
Benign Positional Vertigo
Now that we have discussed the common causes and definitions of dizziness, let’s learn more about Benign Positional Vertigo.
Benign Positional Vertigo is defined as one of the most typical causes of vertigo. It is known as the sudden sensation that makes you think you are spinning or your environment is spinning. It can cause episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Not only that, but it can be ticked off due to various positions of the head, e.g. Getting up, lying down, tilting your head either up or down, or turning over your place.
Though anyone can undergo this uncomfortable situation, Benign Positional Vertigo mostly strikes in people who are 50 or 50+ in age. Moreover, women are at a higher risk of developing Benign Positional Vertigo and people who experience any head injury, as that can mess up with other important organs.
Causes of Benign Positional Vertigo
There is mostly no cause for Benign Positional Vertigo, called idiopathic Benign Positional Vertigo. However, disorders that create havoc in the inner ear, damage from ear surgery, and migraines have been characterised as some of the rare causes of this condition.
Since BPV is concerned with the ear’s inner area acting up, it is also important to be aware of it. Located inside our ears is a small organ named a vestibular labyrinth. It has three loop-like structures known as semicircular canals that carry fluid and refined hair-like detectors that monitor the head’s rotation.
Another structure, i.e. otolith organs, monitors the head’s movement such as down, up, left, right and more. The otolith organs have crystals that make us responsive to gravity. Sometimes, these crystals become detached. Once this happens, the crystals are free to move into the semicircular canals, especially when lying down. As a result, the semicircular canal becomes sensitive to the head positions it usually reacts to, making a person feel dizzy.
Diagnosis of Benign Positional Vertigo
BPV can impact your hearing, create speech problems and cause headaches. To ensure that you indeed have an issue of Benign Positional Vertigo, your doctor will perform a test or manoeuvre known as the Dix-Hallpike test.
In this test, the health care professional or doctor will hold your head in a specific position while asking you to quickly lie down on your back on a table. In addition, they will also check for any abnormal eye movements, ask you a certain set of questions related to the problem itself and conduct a physical exam as well.
A handful of other tests include a CT scan of the head, an MRI, a hearing evaluation, an electronystagmography (ENG) to record the eye movement, an electroencephalogram (EEG) to measure the brain’s stable activity. In addition, the doctor may recommend other tests for you to run if needed.
Treatment of Benign Positional Vertigo
A few treatment options that a doctor might ask you to get according to the severity of your symptoms.
Some doctors consider Epley Manoeuvre as the best option when it comes to the treatment of Benign Positional Vertigo. It’s regarded as the most effective because it can be performed at home without requiring any equipment. The therapy is used to treat canalithiasis. If the patient doesn’t observe any movement, it is most likely that the doctor will ask them to repeat the procedure and note any significant changes in a diary or journal.
Canalith Repositioning Procedure
A healthcare professional or a doctor will perform the Canalith Repositioning Procedure in their office. It is a series of positions to aid the particles from the fluid-filled semicircular canals into a small bag-like open area known as the vestibule. Usually, the patient is bound to see a difference after one or two treatments, but if not, then your doctor may recommend any other treatment option.
The doctor can prescribe medications to help you relieve the spinning sensation that causes discomfort. These can range from sedative-hypnotics or sleeping pills/aids. However, medications are not the most effective option for treating vertigo and are least recommended. It is best to go through your doctor before taking any pills to avoid putting yourself at risk of other damaging diseases.
Though BPV can affect a person’s day to day activities, productivity and mood swings, the good news is that Benign Positional Vertigo is treatable. However, it may take a few years for all the signs to fade properly.
If you find your symptoms of dizziness severe and can’t seem to figure out the reason, then a trip to the doctor’s office may save you from dangerous complications. Though dealing with Benign Positional Vertigo is uncomfortable, with time, it becomes manageable.