Six steps of the Epley maneuver

This is a series of steps you can do at home to help reposition the canalith (bone-like pieces inside the ear canals) and help relieve dizziness or vertigo. Perform the Epley maneuver in six steps.
This is a series of steps you can do at home to help reposition the canalith (bone-like pieces inside the ear canals) and help relieve dizziness or vertigo. Perform the Epley maneuver in six steps.

This is a series of steps you can do at home to help reposition the canalith (bone-like pieces inside the ear canals) and help relieve dizziness or vertigo.

Step 1

  • Sit up straight in the middle of your bed.

Step 2

  • Turn your head 45 degrees toward the ear, which is causing your symptoms and hold the position for one minute.
  • For problems with your right ear, turn your head to the right.
  • For problems with your left ear, turn your head to the left.

Step 3

  • Keep your head and neck at this 45-degree angle and gently lie down flat on your back.
  • Hold this position for one minute even if you feel dizzy.

Step 4

  • While still lying flat on your back, slowly rotate your head toward your good ear as far as you can or about 90 degrees.
  • Hold this position for one full minute even if you feel dizzy.

Step 5

  • With your head still in this position, slowly roll the rest of your body toward the side with your good ear so that your body and head lie in the same direction.
  • Bracing yourself with one hand, roll forward slightly so that you can turn your face toward the floor.
  • Hold this position for one minute.

Step 6

  • Slowly return to a sitting position with your head up but flexed forward about 45 degrees.
  • Hold this position for one minute.

Important note

  • Each series of steps should take about five minutes to do.
  • You should do three complete series of steps before going to bed.
  • Move slowly from one position to another.
  • If you have a headache or feel weak, numb or have vision changes, stop the Epley maneuver and get medical help.
  • Prop your head on pillows when sleeping.
  • Avoid extending your head and neck backward until you feel better.

How do you do the Semont maneuver?

This is another maneuver to relieve dizziness. The Semont maneuver is performed as follows

  • You are seated and the doctor turns your head so that it is halfway between looking straight ahead and looking away from the side that causes the worst vertigo.
  • The doctor then lowers you quickly to the side that causes the worst vertigo.
  • When your head is on the table, you look up at the ceiling. The doctor holds you in this position for 30 seconds.
  • The doctor then quickly moves you to the other side of the table without stopping in the upright position.
  • When your head is on the table, you are now looking down at the table. The doctor holds you in this position for 30 seconds.
  • The doctor then helps you sit back up.

What is benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)?

BPPV is a balance disorder of the inner ear that causes vertigo, dizziness and other symptoms. It happens when calcium crystals inside the ear become loose and begin to collect in the canal at the back of the inner ear. Many people with BPPV say that one symptom they have is a brief spinning (vertigo) or falling sensation. This sensation happens when they sit up to get out of bed, roll over or lie back in bed or bend forward to pick up something on the ground. Some people complain that they also feel nauseated afterward. They might also have

  • Vertigo usually lasts a few seconds to one minute and may occur several times a day.
  • These attacks can happen for a few days or few weeks, but in some cases, the attacks can last as long as a few months.
  • Most of the time, the BPPV symptoms go away within a few weeks without any treatment.

The Epley and Semont maneuvers are exercises used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). A single 10- to 15-minute session is usually all that is needed. The Epley and Semont maneuvers may improve or cure BPPV with only one treatment. Some people need multiple treatments. The Epley and Semont procedures are safe and work well to treat BPPV. The Semont maneuver may work to stop symptoms of BPPV. However, the evidence is not as good as it is for the Epley maneuver.

If repeating the Epley or Semont maneuver does not resolve symptoms of BPPV, there is a chance your vertigo is caused by something else. For example, dizziness and vertigo could be side effects of

If you experience repeated episodes of dizziness and/or vertigo, schedule an appointment with a doctor immediately.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/25/2021
References
Medscape Medical Reference

Brain & Life