ABC Medical Center > Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

What is Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo?

11:49 - 3 November , 2023


It is a disorder characterized by abrupt dizziness when changing the position of the head, causing vertigo symptoms, which can be described as a sensation that everything is suddenly spinning around us.

Although benign paroxysmal positional vertigo episodes are short they may be mild or intense, which usually occur when quickly standing up, lying down, sitting down, or moving the head.

People over 50 years old are those who have the highest incidence of this condition whose main cause seems unknown (idiopathic), although in rare cases it can have a different origin:

  • Head trauma.
  • Migraine.
  • Ear surgeries.
  • Ear conditions.

Signs and symptoms Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

  • Imbalance.
  • Feeling of instability.
  • Nausea.
  • Dizziness.
  • Feeling that everything is spinning around you.
  • Vomit.

In general, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is not serious, except when it is very intense and can trigger an imbalance that causes falls or when the vertigo is associated with serious conditions, so you should see your doctor immediately if you experience vertigo along with the following symptoms:

  • Partial or total loss of vision.
  • Decreased hearing ability.
  • Trouble speaking.
  • Weak upper and lower limbs.
  • Intense migraine.
  • High fever.
  • Difficulty walking.
  • Numbness.
  • Fainting.

Diagnosis and treatment Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo

Once the doctor analyzes your symptoms and medical history, they will perform a physical examination and ask you to move your head and adopt different positions to observe your reactions.
They could also request various tests such as:

  • Videonystagmography.
  • MRI.

Most cases of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo usually heal without treatment within weeks or months, but it is possible to support recovery with particle repositioning maneuvers that your doctor can teach you to perform.

Surgery is appropriate for chronic cases that do not improve and do not respond to particle repositioning.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Torres-Gerardo F, Celis-Aguilar E, Espinoza-Valdez A, et al. Tratamiento del vértigo postural paroxístico benigno: encuesta nacional y algoritmo de su manejo. Otorhinolaryngology. 2022;67(3):207-216.
  • Rico-Romero BY, Ishiwara-Niembro JK, Sánchez-Pérez Y. Vértigo postural paroxístico benigno del canal semicircular horizontal (VPPB-CSH). Rev Mex AMCAOF. 2012;1(2):119-125.
  • Rodas-Méndez ER, Cárdena MI. Vértigo en niños y adolescentes. Rev Hosp Jua Mex. 2012;79(1):5-8.
  • Tovar UR, Hernández CJ, López GEC. Administración de vasodilatadores versus maniobras de reposición y liberación canalicular en el tratamiento del vértigo postural paroxístico benigno. Rev Esp Med Quir. 2008;13(2):69-77.

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