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Vertigo: Why it Happens, Diagnosis and Treatment

December 16, 2018

From the U.S. News & World Report website

The first time you experience vertigo, it can be an unsettling – even scary – experience. A slight shift of your head and you feel as if you’re wildly spinning, or the world is spinning around you. Patients come into my office completely baffled, worried they may be suffering from a serious brain disease.

Fortunately, in most cases I’m able to diagnose them with the most common cause of this spinning sensation: benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, or BPPV. We call this condition “benign” because even though it can be intense and upsetting – and even debilitating, for some patients – BPPV is not life-threatening. “Paroxysmal” means it comes in sudden, short episodes, so the disorienting feelings generally subside pretty quickly, usually in less than a minute. “Positional” means it’s triggered by certain head movements. And “vertigo” refers, of course, to that feeling of riding a wild merry-go-round.

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