Epley Maneuver Benign Positional Vertigo

A dysfunction in the inner ear is the root cause of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, also known as BPPV. It is frequently connected with age, but it can also be caused by a brain injury. To alleviate symptoms of BPPV, the Epley maneuver can be performed by a specialist or at home by the individual experiencing BPPV.

What is Epley Maneuver?

The Epley maneuver is a set of movements typically performed by a healthcare professional on a patient to alleviate BPPV symptoms. Researchers have shown that it is a simple, reliable, and efficient treatment for this condition. The Epley maneuver is also known as the particle repositioning or canalith repositioning maneuver.

These terms are used because the procedure entails a sequence of movements that assist in repositioning crystals in a person's ear that could otherwise produce vertigo. Repositioning the crystals alleviates the individual's vertigo and nausea.

Epley Maneuver Benign Positional Vertigo

What is a BPPV?

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a prevalent form of vertigo that has been discovered to be responsible for up to 17 percent of episodes of dizziness.

It is induced by an inner ear problem. The inner ear develops loose crystals known as canaliths. They have the potential to travel into the ear and become lodged in the semicircular canals.

When these crystals move, they induce a displacement of fluid in the ear. When a person shifts his head, he may encounter a dizzying effect. Vertigo is the medical term for this dizzying sensation.

When a person with BPPV adjusts his or her head, the symptoms of the condition manifest rapidly.

Epley Maneuver Benign Positional Vertigo

The Epley maneuver aims to position the head at an angle such that gravity can ease symptoms.

The crystals can be dislodged from the semicircular canals of the ear by tilting the head back and forth. As a result, nausea and vertigo that were being brought on by the fluid displacement subside.

In this manner, the Epley maneuver alleviates BPPV symptoms. However, due to the fact that movement after the initial treatment can occasionally cause the crystals to become dislodged, it is possible that it will be necessary to carry out the procedure more than once.

After completing the Epley technique, a doctor will urge a patient with BPPV to refrain from making any movements that can knock the crystals loose. A few of these motions are:

  • Bend over quickly
  • Lying on the ground, rapidly inclining the head and moving the head back and forth
  • A soft collar may be suggested by the doctor to help the patient refrain from making these movements. 
  • Additionally, it can be suggested that patients sleep with their heads elevated at a 45-degree angle on two or three pillows.

The Epley maneuver is successful in treating over 90% of patients, however, it may need to be done several times. Independent studies have found that this therapy poses no risks to patients. When medical management of BPPV fails, ear canal surgery may be a safe and effective option.

Epley Maneuver Benign Positional Vertigo Epley Maneuver Benign Positional Vertigo Reviewed by Simon Albert on May 20, 2023 Rating: 5
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