If you’re someone who is prone to BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) attacks, the “not knowing” is often the worst bit. You could experience a bout at any time, anywhere. In fact, BPPV can put a halt to your regular life leaving you feeling disoriented and unable to function.
So to make the best of such bad situations, it is always advisable for you to know about BPPV completely..
Thus, in reality, How long does BPPV last? Indeed, What can you expect in terms of the problem going away? Does it go away on its own? or Is it something permanent you need to make your peace with? Also what about BPPV attack’s duration? How long does each BPPV vertigo attack last?
Now, Don’t worry..
For a second, Calm down and take a deep breath, while we discuss the answers to all these questions one by one..
What’s the duration of a BPPV vertigo attack?
The straight answer to this question is “Just a few minutes”. Yes, an average BPPV attack not lasts for more than a few minutes.
BPPV is one of the leading causes of vertigo. When you experience a BPPV attack you’ll feel like everything, including your own body and head, are spinning. It can sometimes make you experience nausea, loss of balance, lightheadedness, and blurred vision. If it makes you very dizzy you might even fall – and this can be dangerous. Moreover, BPPV attacks also hamper your regular life to a large extent. For example, If you’ve ever had an attack before a major meeting at work or when you were home alone with the kids, you’ll know just how anxious it can make you.
While it can feel like it lasts forever, a BPPV attack is actually usually a very short duration episode. It might come on quite suddenly but once it does, it goes away just as quickly. A few minutes at most.
Understanding BPPV at a deeper level:
Image: Wikimedia commons cc4.0
So what makes you experience the vertigo symptoms when you’re having an attack? This is because your inner ear isn’t working the way it should (due to some disturbance that’s causing the issue).
In general, your semicircular canals(tubes in your ears) have a fluid that moves whenever you shift your body to sit, stand, lie down, or turn. These tubes are really sensitive. So if crystals of calcium carbonate (normally only present elsewhere in the ear) break loose and make their way here, it can mess with inner ear function. The presence of these crystals confuses the brain about the position your body is in, making you feel less stable and causing the spinning sensation.
Triggers for BPPV:
You might notice that you tend to get a bout of vertigo when you do certain things or move your body a certain way. Here are some common movements that can set off a problem:
- Lying down
- Tilting your head – either down or up
- Turning when you’re lying down
- Getting up from a seated position
- Rapid head movements
- Bending over
How long does BPPV last? Does it go away on its own?
BPPV can be brought on by head injury, doing high-intensity aerobics, inner-ear disorders like Meniere’s disease, from certain kinds of migraine headaches, diabetes, osteoporosis, and even from prolonged bed rest. It may go away on its own gradually with symptoms reducing with time, but it could also just as easily get worse. If you’re lucky, symptoms should go away in a few weeks.
If symptoms worsen or you have potentially dangerous issues like blurred vision or feel dizzy, you need to see a doctor to get the right treatment early on. A doctor will be able to check to see whether the problem is severe and whether or not it can be treated with simple exercises, medication, or whether a small medical procedure will be needed to move the crystals. This can resolve the problem in a matter of days.
Treatment Options to make BPPV go away quickly:
See, you may have already seen many websites which bombard you with some absolute non sense, which are no way practical. But I at crazyJackz only give you practical conclusions that are true to real life.
Now coming to the Treatment options..
The only sure-fire way to see the last of BPPV is to have the problem treated professionally. Ignoring this makes you vulnerable to falls, accidents, and injury.
Exercises and maneuvers: A physiotherapist who is familiar with the techniques needed to treat BPPV may be able to help you with simple exercises. Your doctor may also suggest some movements to ease the issue by moving the crystals out of the semicircular canal of your ear to a different section of the inner ear where it doesn’t cause a problem. If you find it doesn’t help, you may need to see a specialist.
Motion-sickness medication: If you experience severe nausea your doctor may give you motion sickness medication, but only for a very short time.
Epley maneuver: Done by your doctor, this 15-minute long procedure moves the crystals to a different location in your inner ear so it doesn’t cause the problem anymore.
BPPV – Temporary Or Permanent?
While BPPV can go away quickly, it has a high chance(as much as 50% chance of long-term recurrence in a 5-year window) of coming back somewhere down the line. See your doctor and be careful to take the precautions they suggest to ensure the treatment is as effective as possible.
So yes, BPPV can be temporary as it will go away once treated or fade on its own. It certainly isn’t a constant presence – it may happen in fits and starts from time to time. But it is also permanent for some, because you may be at risk of developing the problem again due to the factors mentioned earlier.
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