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Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also called BPPV, is an inner ear problem. It causes a spinning or whirling sensation when you move your head. This sensation is called vertigo.
The vertigo usually lasts for less than a minute. People often have vertigo spells for a few days or weeks. Then the vertigo goes away. But it may come back again. The vertigo may be mild, or it may be bad enough to cause unsteadiness, nausea, and vomiting.
When you move, your inner ear sends messages to the brain. This helps you keep your balance. Vertigo can happen when debris builds up in the inner ear. The buildup can cause the inner ear to send the wrong message to the brain.
Your doctor may move you in different positions to help your vertigo get better faster. This is called the Epley manoeuvre. Your doctor may also prescribe medicines or exercises to help with your symptoms.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: April 15, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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