So I've got BPPV which is proof I am now OLD

Sunday, Nov 20, 2011 at 17:12

TriathlonOz - Michelle

Lately, I've been getting sudden, acute dizzy spells. At first I only got them when rolling over in bed. It is such an intense dizziness that its hard to believe its over within seconds and then my day starts normally and nothing more happens. I just figured I was dehydrated, and did all the usual things like avoided coffee, focussed on drinking more water and getting to bed early for a week. But the dizzyness was still occuring and I even started to get it more frequently, such as going to bed, everytime I rolled over and then even during the day if I moved too quickly, or lay down. But I didn't get it riding my bike, running or even swimming so I kept training.

After a week had gone by and the symptoms were still occuring, I recalled that my Mum used to get something similar and she told me a doctor gave her some sort of "head shake" and it went away .... so I checked with Mum. She said I probably had "BPPV" - Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - and sure enough when I googled it, that's what I was experiencing.

I saw my local GP on Friday who confirmed this and I've got an appointment tomorrow with my physio to have the canalith repositioning. Horray! I haven't got anything serious but it appears that BPPV is an old age problem - how sad!

Defination of BPPV

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) involves intense, brief episodes of vertigo associated with a change in the position of your head, often when you turn over in bed, sit up in the morning or look up to the ceiling. It occurs when normal calcium carbonate crystals (otoconia) break loose and fall into the wrong part of the canals in your inner ear. When these particles are moved when your head is moved, they stimulate sensors in your ear, producing an episode of vertigo. Health professionals are not exactly aware of what causes BPPV, but it may be a natural result of aging and can also be caused by trauma to the head.

So since I can rule out the head trauma I have to accept the facts - at 43 (soon to turn 44), I have just had my first confirmed physical condition of old age! And apparently, once you have it, you are prone to continue to repeat getting it. mum just laughed :(

PS: and yes, it's a women's thing predominantly. Typical...

Monday 21st November - update

Have just had a consult with my physio who says my condition was most likely brought on by the paddling I've done lately as my neck was very stiff. She did some high pressure work on my neck bones and then mobilised my thoraxic spine which made some "clicks" and "clunks" and that gave me some better neck movement. Next I've been told to improve my desk chair, use a foot-stool and do 10 laydown reps with my head held a particular way to move the loose-crystals back into the proper ear canal. And my physio says anyone of any age can get it. She also thinks the roller coasters at Disneyland for 3 days, the long haul flights, the paddling/racing etc could all have contributed to dislodging the crystals in the first place. So maybe I'm not THAT OLD just yet after all?! LOL
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