November 01, 2014

Flowchart to Diagnose What Type of BPPV and Proper Treatment

BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) is one of the most common causes of imbalance accounting for about 20% of all dizziness. BPPV is also one of the most easily treated forms of dizziness which can be "cured" 80% of the time with a simple less than 10 minute body maneuver technique.

However, the main issue with treatment is that one has to first:

1) Correctly diagnose BPPV using the Dix-Hallpike maneuver
2) Determine what type of BPPV (posterior, lateral, or superior)
3) Decide which ear (right or left) is the culprit
4) And than use the correct maneuver to fix the problem (Epley, Lempert, or Deep Head-Hanging)

To assist in these steps for BPPV treatment, an online flowchart complete with videos has been created to guide a patient or healthcare practitioner.
The standard disclaimer being incorrect self-diagnosis is a risk that may lead to injury and further balance problems. Use of the following information is only meant as an educational tool. Please see your doctor to be formally diagnosed and treated. Please keep in mind that this flowchart is a general guide and that there are subtleties that are not addressed here.

Click to go to the Online BPPV Flowchart

For example, the video below which is part of the online flowchart demonstrates the Epley maneuver to treat POSTERIOR canal BPPV affecting the RIGHT ear.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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