Why did I get BPPV?

People often ask what it was that made them get BPPV.  For many there is never really a satisfactory answer.  However we do know some factors which may pre-dispose a person to getting vertigo due to BPPV.  Any condition which damages the inner ear seems to be associated with BPPV.  This ranges from trauma, to infections to the ever present condition – old age.

To put some specifics on what the etiology or causes of BPPV are:

  • About 70% of people have age related BPPV
  • About 15% of people have BPPV related to a trauma such as a car accident
  • About 15% of people have BPPV following a viral infection which may include labyrinthitis (which presents as two weeks of vertigo followed by BPPV) 
  • There may also be a few percent which occurs with Meniere’s or other inner ear conditions which causes damage to the ear resulting in loose crystals and BPPV.

BPPV is a spectrum of etiologies and presentations which are caused by loose otoconia or inner ear crystals. Most people have similar BPPV symptoms but this is not always the case. It is important that everyone be evaluated by their physician and other causes of dizziness be ruled out.

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