Posts Tagged vertigo

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)

You Spin Me Round (Like A Record) On a recent Saturday morning I woke up and turned over to grab my phone to see what time it was. All of a sudden WHOOMP, the whole world flipped upside down. “Uggggghhhh”, I moaned as I lay there motionless, trying to explain to my husband what I was wailing about. Vertigo. Unfortunately, this wasn’t my first experience with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). I had my first bout with BPPV over 20 years ago, under the same circumstances (went to bed fine, woke up in the morning and turned over to discover the whole world flipped upside down.) At that time I had no idea what was going on. At least this time I did. BP…What? BPPV is the most common disorder of the inner ear’s vestibular system. 2.4% of people will experience it in their lifetime. Let’s first talk about the name of the disorder. Benign indicates that it is not life threatening and generally doesn’t progress. Paroxysmal indicates sudden onset of symptoms. Positional refers to the fact that the symptoms usually occur with changes in head position. Vertigo is a spinning sensation. How does it happen? Our vestibular organs in our inner ear consist of the utricle, saccule and 3 semicircular canals. The semicircular canals detect rotational movement of the head. When the head rotates the fluid exerts pressure against the cupula, the sensory receptor at the base of the canal. The receptor then sends impulses to the brain about the head’s movement. BPPV occurs when the otoconia (tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that are a normal part of the inner ear’s anatomy) detach from the otolithic membrane in the utricle and collect in one of the semicircular canals. When the head is still, the otoconia settle. When the head […]

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