In benign positional vertigo, the sufferer develops a sense of spinning that comes on suddenly. This usually happens when one is moving the head. Those affected may have the feeling that the world is spinning around them. Vision problems, like the perception that things are moving, can accompany the vertigo, as well as blurring of vision. Benign positional vertigo usually lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. Other symptoms that can occur include loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, and hearing loss.
Causes of benign positional vertigo
Benign positional vertigo is caused by a problem in the inner ear, within the fluid-filled tubes called semicircular canals that help regulate balance. Typically, a small calcium particle in the semicircular canals disrupts the signaling to the brain about balance and body position. The risk of benign positional vertigo may increase following head trauma or inner ear infection (labrynthitis).
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
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