What is BPPV?

What is BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is the most common cause of dizziness. It is a type of giddiness induced by certain positions of the head. It is thought to be caused by tiny fragments (debris) of calcium carbonate in the posterior semi-circular canal, derived from the inner ear structure called the utricle. Often referred to as “ear rocks”, in the past, this debris was called “otoconia”. In many cases, this condition clears away on its own after several weeks. A simple treatment of moving the head into various positions over a few minutes and home exercises can resolve the symptoms. This treatment uses gravity to move the debris away from where it is causing the symptoms.


Benign means that it is not a serious condition. (The symptoms may be troublesome, but the underlying cause is not serious.)


Paroxysmal means the recurrence of certain symptoms.


Positional means the symptoms of vertigo are produced by certain head positions.


Vertigo is dizziness with a spinning sensation. There is often an association of feeling sick or actual vomiting.

BPPV is a common condition of the inner ear and is a frequent cause of dizziness among outpatient clinic visitors. It is widespread in all ages, but much more common in elderly people. BPPV can be safely diagnosed and treated at home by using the Dizzyclear pillow.

For full understanding about dizziness and self treatment we recommend that you purchase pillow and the book together.

Balance Control

Balance is controlled by the following three systems:

  • Inner ear (vestibular system)
  • Eyes (visual system)
  • Sensory receptors in the skin, muscles and joints maintain our balance when we stand or walk. This is known as proprioception – the body’s ability to sense movement

The part of the inner ear that is concerned with balance is called the vestibular system. This is made up of bones and soft tissue and consists of two parts:

  • Semicircular canals. These are three fluid-filled channels arranged at right angles to each other. They inform the brain if the head moves in a rotating or circular way e.g. nodding movement and moving the head from left to right.
  • Otolith organs. These are fluid-filled pouches that lie between the semicircular canals and the cochlea. These inform the brain when our body is moving in a straight line, such as when standing up, or riding in a car. They also inform the brain about the position of our head in relation to the ground, for example, whether we are lying down or sitting. Most of the utricular signals elicit eye movements, while the majority of the saccular signals projects to muscles that control our posture.


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