Last week, while out of town with friends, I experienced extreme vertigo, a very scary feeling.  I got up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom and upon lying back down the room began to swirl.  In trying to right myself I fell over onto the bed like a rag doll.  I yelled out and my husband rushed to my side and said later” Your arms were flaying in the air in an attempt to right yourself.”  I spent the rest of the night propped up on pillows and trying to fall back to sleep.  We were in a Casino and the next day, I felt a bit off center all day and any quick movement would bring on a case of dizziness.  It was very unsettling.  Upon returning home, I had another bad episode at bedtime and we went to ER.

They did all of the usual tests, CT scan, Chest X-Ray and blood tests.  Everything was negative. On day 10, I visited my PCP (Primary Care Physician) and asked for an antibiotic as I had a very strange headache which had occurred previous to my Vertigo episode.  My PCP said that she thought it was BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo), so I researched it and it sounded like what I might have.  I did find some exercises, which I found online and have continued for two days and remarkably, for the most part, my vertigo has subsided to a mere slight dizziness upon quick motions.  Now the questions is: Is the cure the 3 days of a strong antibiotic or is it BPPV?  I don’t know, but I will continue to do the exercises as I do not want to go back to the severe vertigo.

BPPV is dizziness or vertigo thought to be debris which is collected within a part of the inner ear.  It has been called crystals, stones, debris or ear rocks–possibly where the term “Rocks in your Head” originated.  They become dislodged and move into more sensitive inner ear locations.  People over 60 are most likely to get BPPV.  The Epley Maneuver  can easily be done at home & relocate the “crystals”.  I also did the Brandt-Daroff  Exercise.  There is a small video on this maneuver near the bottom of the page next to the discs.

There is more in information on Dizziness, Vertigo and BPPV on Mayo Clinic website.  Although BPPV may be common, it is very distressing for the individual who is experiencing this and can result in a fall.  If you are experiencing the symtoms of BPPV it is best to get your Physicians opinion, rather than to self diagnose.