Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV)

BPPV is form of dizziness which is caused by debris that has collected within a part of the inner ear. This debris, often called "ear rocks" or "otoconia", is derived from a structure in the ear called the utricle.

The utricle may be damaged by head injury, infection, or other disorder of the inner ear. With head movement, the displaced otoconia shift, sending false signals to the brain.


  • Change in head position
  • Getting out of or rolling in bed are problematic
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Spinning sensation
  • Imbalance
  • Nausea
  • Abnormal eye movement "nystagmus"
  • Possible hearing loss and ringing sensation in the ears
  • Tight neck muscles

Common causes:

  • Head injury is the most common cause in younger people
  • Associated with migraines
  • In older people, the most common cause is degeneration
  • Occasionally follows surgery, illness, or condition which results in prolonged inactivity or immobility
  • In half of all cases, BPPV is idiopathic - it occurs for no reason