Can I treat BPPV alone – I am elderly

Someone recently asked me about their elderly mother doing maneuvers for the home treatment of BPPV.  Since she is elderly she apparently had difficulty moving her head back far enough to complete the standard maneuver.    

The good news about home treatment is that the Epley Maneuver can be conducted at home with some help.  This is much more effective than previous maneuvers such as the Brant Daroff exercises.  The hope is that fewer maneuvers need be conducted to successfully treat the condition. 

However, some people should not perform the maneuver.  This includes, amongst others, people with neck injury, limitation of their neck range of motion, a history of stroke/TIA due to vertebro-basilar insufficiency and other health conditions as advised by their doctor.

Certainly home maneuvers are effective but they should not be conducted alone or by people who have difficulty or other medical conditions which put them at risk. Home maneuvers should always be conducted on the floor to prevent falls and in the presence of another person for assistance if needed.  When in doubt see your doctor.

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