Dizziness is a common complaint from many patients, especially those over the age of 70. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of positional vertigo. Vertigo refers to the perception of movement (i.e. spinning or turning).

The words: benign, paroxysmal and positional all describe the type of vertigo. ‘Benign’ refers to the idea that it is not life-threatening and there is no known cause; ‘paroxysmal’ suggests that there is a common cycle to the response and that it goes away and ‘positional’ refers to the fact that the vertigo is a result of a particular head or body movement. Symptoms of BPPV include dizziness when lying down, rolling over or changing head positions.

The perception of movement usually lasts less than a minute and is sometimes accompanied by a longer lasting feeling of nausea.