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, with symptoms commonly lasting less than one minute. Episodes of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo 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 the position of your head. Some people also feel out of balance when standing or walking.
Abnormal rhythmic eye movements (nystagmus) usually accompany the symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
When to see a doctor
Generally, see your doctor if you experience any unexplained dizziness or vertigo that recurs periodically for more than one week.
Seek emergency care
Although it's uncommon for dizziness to signal a serious illness, see your doctor immediately if you experience dizziness or vertigo along with any of the following:
- A new, different or severe headache
- A fever
- Double vision or loss of vision
- Hearing loss
- Trouble speaking
- Leg or arm weakness
- Loss of consciousness
- Falling or difficulty walking
- Numbness or tingling
The signs and symptoms listed above may signal a more serious problem.
May 28, 2015
- Kim JS, et al. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. New England Journal of Medicine. 2014;370:1138.
- Hilton MP, et al. The Epley (canalith repositioning) manoeuvre for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. http://www.cochrane.org/CD003162/ENT_the-epley-manoeuvre-for-benign-paroxysmal-positional-vertigo-bppv. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Furman JM. Pathophysiology, etiology, and differential diagnosis of vertigo. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Barton JJS. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed May 4, 2015.
- Lalwani AK. Vestibular disorders. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology--Head & Neck Surgery. 3rd ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed May 4, 2015.
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