Friday, February 16, 2007

A Dizzy Diagnosis: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

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BPPV is a disorder of the inner ear which is a cause of vertigo in approximately 20% of patients who present to their doctor with this complaint. This occurs when otoconia are dislodged from their usual position within the utricle and they migrate over time into one of the semicircular canals (the posterior canal is most commonly affected due to its anatomical position). This Diagnosis can be made using the Dix-Hallpike Test and is frequently treated by use of the Epley Maneuvers.

In my practice, I make this diagnosis more often than many of my peers, mostly I think because I look for it. To me, it is about the only bright spot when dealing with the chief complaint of "dizziness". This is because treatment is so effective and no medicines are required. Patients have called back in a day or two just to tell me that it worked because they are so surprised. Honestly, when I first started doing it, I was surprised as well. It seems like most of the family practitioners that I talk to have heard of this simple procedure, but most of them never try it because for some reason it seems too magical or tricky. For that reason I have created this claymation video to serve as a visual aid for those who are interested. Keep in mind that this is not my specialty, this is not intended to replace a visit to your doctor if you experience vertigo, and you shouldn't try this if you don't have the training to know when you shouldn't do it. This is just a fun little video to give you very basic idea of how it is done. I will gladly accept any criticism of the technique, but don't expect me to change the video because the patient has been thrown out. Enjoy.

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Blogger Trinka said...

You know - I had a terrible problem with dizziness about 10 years ago, and the doctor I went to did this - and I felt better immediately and have never had the issue again.

But do you think I can explain it to anyone, without them having that little "quackery" buzzer go off in the back of their heads? :)

It was good to see it explained - I bookmarked this post, so I can refer back to it!

5:07 AM  
Blogger The Ear Doc said...

Hello Dr. Henry,

I came across your claymation video on Epley maneuver and was wondering if I may use it for a presentation. I think patients will benefit from seeing it before the maneuver is performed on them at the ENT clinic where I work.


Andy Lau
Audiometric Technician
Professional Hearing Services
6231 Leesburg Pike, Suite 512
Falls Church, VA 22044

6:36 AM  

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