Epilepsy & Neurologic Disorders

Expert reports about Epilepsy & Neurologic Disorders


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE BENIGN PAROXYSMAL POSITIONAL VERTIGO DURING PREGNANCY OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a condition of the inner ear that is characterized by the repeated occurrence of episodes of positional vertigo, a loss of balance that comes together with a feeling of rotation, or sliding when the person is not moving, that is set off by changes in the position of the head relative to the direction of gravity. Known in the past by various other terms, such as benign positional vertigo and paroxysmal positional vertigo, BPPV is not the same thing as dizziness. While the latter is a kind of off-balance feeling related to lightheadedness, vertigo specifically describes false or exaggerated sensations of motion. The most common reason for vertigo is BPPV, which is a problem specifically with one of three fluid-filled curved structures within the inner ear called semicircular canals. Usually (85-95 percent), the problem is in what’s called the posterior semicircular canal, whereas most of the other cases involve the lateral semicircular canal (5 – 15 percent of cases). Less common are cases of BPPV involving the anterior semicircular canal, or more than one of the semicircular canals.


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