Benign positional vertigo is condition in which a person develops a sudden sensation of spinning, usually when moving the head. It is the most common cause of vertigo.

Benign positional vertigo is due to a disturbance within the inner ear. The inner ear has fluid-filled tubes called semicircular canals. The canals are very sensitive to movement of the fluid, which occurs as you change position. The fluid movement allows your brain to interpret your body’s position and maintain your balance.

Benign positional vertigo develops when a small piece of bone-like calcium breaks free and floats within the tube of the inner ear. This sends the brain confusing messages about your body’s position.

There are no major risk factors.  People are more likely to develop vertigo after experiencing a bad head cold, upper respiratory infection and/or inner ear infection. There are no medications to cure vertigo, only to help with the symptoms caused by vertigo.  The symptoms are normally self limiting.  

Symptoms

The main symptom is a spinning sensation, which:

  • Is usually triggered by head movement
  • Often starts suddenly

Most often, patients say they cannot roll in bed or tilt their head up to look at something.

If your symptoms last for more than three days, Dr. Price may need to run several tests to ensure it is your inner ear causing the vertigo.