How long does BPPV last? Why does it go and come back?

We were recently asked, “Why does BPPV go away and come back?”.  To understand the treatment and natural history of BPPV it helps to understand how it happens in the first place.  
Lets imagine that the inner ear is akin to a tiny snow globe inside the head.  In a healthy person the snow inside this globe is actually stuck down but with age the snow comes loose and begins to fly around when disturbed.  Now lets imagine there is a house inside the snow globe.  Inside the house are the very sensitive balance organs of the inner ear.  There are, of course, windows in the house and sometimes flying snow comes in through those windows.  When that happens you get BPPV. 
Every time the snow globe is disturbed, by rolling over or looking up, the snow inside the house causes the balance organs to be confused and the sensation of vertigo results.   The snow can fall out of the windows of the house as well but this only happens sometimes when you are in just the right position.   The treatment maneuver for BPPV carefully guides these particles out.  You can have your doctor do the maneuver or do it yourself with a BPPV treatment device.
Without treatment BPPV often lasts 2 weeks until the particles inside the house (which is actually called the posterior semi-circular canal) fall out or somehow breakup.  However, more snow can come in and usually does in about 60% of people. 

56 Responses

  1. Cynthia Balentine

    I saw 5 doctors before even being diagnosed! How frustrating and Scary! A brain and spine doctor has prescribed meclizine and some exercises. I got better, then got worse!

  2. Ann

    See a neuro ophthalmologist sometimes it’s the vision and vision therapy can help

  3. Fran

    I have had this going on for years and no-one can fix this. I can go to bed perfectly fine then wake up spinning as if I’m on the tea cup ride at the amusement park I’m spinning so hard I’m grabbing at anything that will help slow it down.i have learned to turn my head to the left and it stops. But this can last from a day to up to a few weeks. I have learned to live with this, I am always looking for a cure.
    Kerra Ray-stay in touch.

  4. Dhara patel

    I thought i will do susaid…bcoz i m so tried of bppv….now 4 year …but no one help me

  5. Dhara patel

    Hi i have bappv …no one can undersand my feeling..i am 28year….plz help me…i am suffring from 4 year…

  6. Dhara patel

    Hi plz help me

Leave a Reply