Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is probably the commonest cause of dizziness in people over the age of sixty. It tends to occur sporadically and last from a few seconds to a few minutes. During this time the patient feels the whole world is spinning and usually needs to clutch at something and stay completely still.
Many people with this condition describe it as coming on at night when they roll over in bed. It can often wake a patient from sleep. Sufferers become adept at avoiding the position which causes the problem. This can however be difficult if the problem is brought on by simply looking up, as is the case with many people. Avoiding the head position which causes the dizziness simply means that the next time the patient forgets to avoid the 'bad' position, the dizziness is more severe.
In some cases, clusters of episodes over a few weeks are followed by months without any further problems and then a sudden reoccurrence of the dizzy episodes.
In younger people this problem is sometimes found after a head injury or inner ear infection. It is not a condition that tends to affect children under the age of 12.
Treatment of the problem usually requires head manoeuvres designed to replace crystals in the inner ear which have become loose and passed to a sensitive part of the balance organ. Most patients are cured by this treatment. For those who continue to have symptoms, surgery can offer relief.
If you would like to arrange a consultation with Mr Banerjee to look into this condition further please contact us. You can also find more information about balance disorders at the Balance Doctor website.