Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is causing my vertigo symptoms?"
I'm a 36 year old male with no previous history of neurological problems. I have no current ear infections that would cause vertigo, yet I suffer from this condition several times a month. It occurs when I'm sleeping and turn over to another side. The room spins for several minutes, then I feel uneasy and nauseous for the next few days. The only prescription med I take is Prilosec. What do you think is causing this problem?
Your symptoms could be due to Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), which is the most common cause of vertigo. Within the inner ear, there are structures that help control our sense of balance and motion. Inside these structures, there are small stones that normally do not move around. In BPPV, these stones somehow become dislodged and move into a different space, making the brain think that you are moving when in fact you are not, resulting in the sensation of the room spinning. As you know, BPPV can be very troubling, but fortunately this is a benign condition that can be resolved with special maneuvers. First of all, you should see your primary care physician to make sure this diagnosis is accurate. This can be done in the office with the use of the Dix-Hallpike maneuver, which involves certain movements of the head and body. If the test is positive, your symptoms of vertigo will be reproduced. If this is the case, then another set of movements (such as the Epley maneuver) can be used both at the office and at home to help reposition the small stones in the ear and ease your symptoms. It is important to know that if you are diagnosed with BPPV, your symptoms may return from time to time, but you can do these maneuvers at home to help yourself out.