Diagnosing, Treating Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Updated guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) suggest a series of in-office maneuvers, rather than expensive imaging tests or medications, offer a faster route to diagnosis and cure | ED Management

  • Typically, patients with BPPV present with symptoms of intense dizziness that may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or an intense feeling of disorientation or instability.
  • A very specific diagnostic step called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver can enable physicians to quickly spot the signs of BPPV.
  • When the diagnosis is positive for BPPV, canalith repositioning maneuvers typically can resolve the symptoms.
  • When BPPV is suspected, guideline authors urged providers to stay away from vestibular suppressive medications, which produce a host of side effects and can contribute to a delay in diagnosis.

Full reference: Bhattacharyya, N. et al. (2017) Diagnosing, Treating Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo. ED Management. Online issue: 1st August 2017

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