Dizziness and vertigo are common issues that often lead people to seek medical care. Vertigo is a sense of spinning, moving, or rocking even when someone is perfectly still. Movement of the head and body can worsen symptoms, which include lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting.
Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), is a very common cause of vertigo. BPPV happens when the crystals inside the ear fall out of their correct space and are free-floating through the fluid of the inner ear. This can give the brain the perception that your head is moving in a direction that it is not, causing the environment to spin. BPPV usually lasts a minute or two, and it can be mild or severe enough to cause nausea. Some people may even find it hard to stand or walk without losing their balance.
BPPV is easily treatable. Usually, a physical therapist can correct it within one to two visits using simple head maneuvers. These maneuvers work by allowing the free-floating particles (crystals) from the affected area to be relocated by gravity back to their original position.
The good news is it only takes about 1-2 treatments for the symptoms to subside. The bad news is that you can no longer use “loose rocks in my head” as an excuse for weird behavior.