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Feeling dizzy? You might have BPPV.

September 26, 2006
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If you feel dizzy when if you move your head up or down or sideways, or when you turn in bed or while getting in and out of bed you could be suffering from BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) a disease not so well known and not always diagnosed correctly.

Unfortunately, this disease is very common. Says Dr. O.P. Kapoor, distinguished physician and author, ‘Many family physicians and even some specialists may not be aware that the commonest cause of repeated attacks of this particular kind of vertigo (dizziness) are due to BPPV. BPPV is often mistaken for Meniere’s disease, which is a more serious ear condition.’

So what exactly is this BPPV? As the name itself suggests, it is a one of nature’s benign diseases. BPPV. Benign – not harmful. Paroxysmal – periodically. Positional – brought on by certain positions. Vertigo – giddiness.
The problem of misdiagnosis can arise if the patient is unable to explain to the doctor the kind of vertigo he is experiencing. All feelings of nausea, lightheadness or a lack of balance are often clubbed together under one heading: Giddiness or Vertigo. However the vertigo experienced by BPPV sufferers is distinctively different. ‘The feeling that everything around you is moving or rotating and when this is brought on by movement of the head it is usually a symptom of BPPV,’ says Dr. D.M Borkar, ENT Specialist, who consults with Breach Candy Hospital.

Ofcourse a test must finally determine whether the patient is actually suffering from BPPV, and there is specific one for this purpose, called the Hallpike Test. It’s a simple enough test (but to be performed by a trained professional) and involves the patient being made to lie down in a particular position and his head abruptly turned by skilled hands. If vertigo is induced, it is a confirmation that the patient has a case of BPPV. ‘The Hallpike test has been in use for very many years now and though it sounds simple, it should be done only by a trained ENT specialist,’ says Dr. Borkar, who holds workshops to spread awareness of this disease amongst general practitioners. As many as 30 per cent of vertigo sufferers suffer from BPPV but they are usually unaware that the problem lies with the ear and thus often approach GP’s.

The root cause of BPPV lies in the ear, the ear being one of the vital organs which helps us maintain our balance. ‘We keep our balance due to a combined efforts of our ears, eyes, the cervical spine (neck) and the brain, but BPPV specifically is caused because of a problem in the inner ear,’ says Dr. Tushar.V.Mhapankar, ENT specialist.

What actually happens inside a BPPV sufferer’s ears? In layman’s terms, certain particles shift from a tiny space in the ear called the utricle into the semicircular canals of the inner ear. ‘If these particles become loose and move from their proper place inside the ear, BPPV can be brought on,’ says Dr. Borkar. When thus displaced, these particles provoke the sensations of rotation and movement following changes in head position.

And therein lies the cure. An attempt is made to shift the particles by sequential movements of the head into various positions. ‘The particles need to be put back in their proper place and if this is done successfully, the patient feels better,’ says Dr. Borkar. This procedure, called Epley’s procedure is done by a specialist. Best of all, it involves no surgery! Known in India for over a decade, it’s success rate is high, confirms Dr. Borkar. In case BPPV reoccurs as in some instances, a second treatment can be carried out. The doctor might even suggest some exercises to the patient to do at home.

So, if you think you might have BPPV or suspect that someone you know has it, don’t prolong the agony by spending precious time or money on expensive diagnostic tests – visit an ENT who is familiar with the Hallpike Test and Epley’s procedure. Although BPPV is not a new or modern disease, the test and cure for BPPV are comparatively new, so make sure you find the right doctor.

(Published in The Times of India in 2006)

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29 Comments leave one →
  1. SAHANA permalink
    November 18, 2006 1:13 pm

    I have been suffering this for the last 20yrs.

    I would be obliged if you could give me good Dr.’s reference in BANGALORE where I am residing at present.


    • John varghese permalink
      April 17, 2016 10:54 pm

      Headache &Vertigo Specialist

  2. November 18, 2006 4:26 pm

    Sahana, I really wish I could help you, but I am just a writer. I think the best way for you would be to go to one of the top five ENT specialists in Bangalore. You can should look at the top hospitals and see which ENT is consulting there. While talking to the ENT specialist if you find that he or she is unaware of Epley’s procedure and the Hallpike Test, then it’s best to avoid him. I hope this helps.

  3. Smita permalink
    November 18, 2006 8:11 pm

    Please, Can i Have the contact numbers of Dr. Tushar.V.Mhapankar (ENT specialist) and D.M Borkar (ENT Specialist)

  4. SAHANA permalink
    November 18, 2006 9:36 pm

    Dear Nita,
    Thank u for your quick response. will revert once things fall in place & will let you know th results.

  5. November 18, 2006 10:41 pm

    Smita, Dr. Borkar consults with Breach Candy and the number is:
    Breach Candy Hospital,Mumbai: Tel: 022-23671888/022-23672888.
    He also has his own clinic: Citylight Clinic near Citylight Cinema, in Mahim. Tel: 022-24455161.
    I assume you are from Mumbai. However it is possible that he might know a good doctor for BPPV in another city – this is for you Sahana.
    Smita, it is best that you go to Dr. Borkar. He is the best person to treat this particular problem.

  6. Harish permalink
    November 29, 2006 12:40 pm

    Hello Nita,
    I was just looking out for best ENT specialists in bangalore. My father who is aged 72, has is not been able to listen from few days.
    Could you please help with naming few specialists in Bangalore?.

  7. November 29, 2006 1:34 pm

    Harish, if you look up comment number 2 you will get the help you need. I am really not in a position to decide who are the best ENT’s. I am a writer, that’s all. All the best for your dad.

  8. raj permalink
    February 27, 2007 3:35 pm


    please could you help me to find out the top 5 docters in ENT specialization with phone no.. in bangalore city..

    if you not aware. atleat let me know one of the best docter. i need very urgent…..

    while you are sending please do send to my personal mail-id..


  9. February 27, 2007 5:09 pm

    Raj, I can only give you this, which I will send you by email as well:
    This is the India online telephone directory. As I do not live in Bangalore I guess it is not possible for me to give you the telephone numbers. In fact I really do not know the best doctors there. If you read comment number 2 you will get your answer. Its best that you go to the top hospitals in Bangalore.

  10. girish bhatia permalink
    March 30, 2007 1:33 pm

    please email me Dr.O.P.Kapoor phone number in mumbai clinic

  11. March 30, 2007 5:17 pm

    Dr. OP Kapoor is not an ENT specialist. He is an author. If you live in Mumbai, its best you contact dr. borkar whose numbers are given above.

  12. KESHAV PRASAD permalink
    May 5, 2007 5:31 pm


  13. May 6, 2007 8:17 am

    Keshav, all major hospitals have good ENT specialists. you will also find them in the yellow pages.

  14. August 27, 2007 3:53 pm

    my name is abhishek sharma. my voice is very thin & not clear. so all people laugh at me. my career depand on my voice. is this clear aftar operation or medition. I don’t talk to other people. so they think that he is dull person.
    please tell me . I am very appset by this problem. please tell me solution of this problem….
    and suggest me best doctors name and address who solve this problem…

  15. August 27, 2007 6:04 pm

    Dear Abishek, I am sorry to hear about your problem but I think that voice modulation lessons should cure your problem. I think you should ask a good ENT specialist in your city to recommend one. Also, I feel you should also see a counselor, because your voice seems to be affecting your personality and that shouldn’t happen.

  16. Yashoda permalink
    December 19, 2007 2:31 pm

    Please suggest me few good specialists who can treat depression and anxiety.

    regds yashoda

  17. sanjiv permalink
    November 3, 2008 2:54 pm

    can u please suggest a top docter with exprtise in positional vertigo in pune for my father who is a chronic sufferrer

  18. Manpreet permalink
    December 23, 2008 12:08 pm

    Please suggest a best specialist of BPPV in New Delhi. My mom is suffering from this disease for last few months.

  19. GSingh permalink
    December 25, 2008 8:27 pm

    My Father is suffering from dizziness for last 12 months and I want to make sure if it is due to BPPV. I would like to have an accurate diagonosis and an expert in this area would be able to do so. Please suggest the best specialist in BPPV in New Delhi/Ghaziabad/Noida area.


  20. N K Das permalink
    January 23, 2010 8:09 pm

    Dear Sir/ Madam,

    Can I get Dr. Borkar’s email ID. I am staying abroad and would like to him about my medical condition with regard to dizziness. I would then plan to come and see him in Mumbai.
    Best Regards

    N.K Das

  21. ml arora permalink
    September 5, 2010 9:38 pm


    • abotea permalink
      February 17, 2011 12:45 pm

      I think i’m suffering from BPPV .who is the best doctor in the country? can anyone advice from their experience?

  22. Vicky permalink
    February 4, 2012 10:19 pm

    Main thing is
    If you feel dizzy when if you move your head up or down or sideways,
    or when you turn in bed
    or while getting in and out of bed you could be suffering from BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo) a disease not so well known and not always diagnosed correctly.

    You can find lots of videos of Epley’s procedure on youtube. It can be done by patient at home.
    here is link

    youtube dot com/watch?v=QikUTAmeE0M

  23. Vicky permalink
    February 4, 2012 10:23 pm

    The affected ear is which is down (left or right) when dizziness occurs. Epley procedure is started from affected side.

  24. Vicky permalink
    February 4, 2012 10:31 pm

    This video is also very informative

  25. sneha permalink
    August 15, 2012 10:55 pm

    my boyfriend is suffering from a vertigo problem frm last three years.. Previously it occured after a long gap of months but frm last one yearshe feels that this is getting very continous problem with him.. And nowadays his father is also suffering frm that same thing
    m worried for both of them their symptoms made me understand that they can hav this BPPV thing..
    M from rajasthan..can anyone please help me to find the best ENT specialiast or any neurologist in rajasthan for their diagnos.
    Pls help me… Thanks in advance

  26. Rajeev Tandon permalink
    April 17, 2016 10:45 pm

    Specialist Neurologist manages better rather than ENT. I had bppv which used to make me spin like being in merry go round and swaying feeling like i am travelling on a boat.
    I visited many ent but none could really help me out except for prescribing all old medicines like vrtin, stoogeron,stmetil which actually made my dizziness worse. Thanks to Dr. Nilesh M Bhandari (Pune), with his skillfully techniques/manoeuvre i am completely symptom free within a couple of days (miraculously).
    I would recommend his name and no. 9970255993 for appropriate diagnosis and treatment for vertigo.

  27. Janhavi permalink
    October 23, 2017 4:54 pm

    Brilliant job, Nita! You have initiated on that topic which most of us, common people, don’t even realise has a medical treatment for it. Thank you!

    For all those who are suffering from BPPV themselves or seeing their loved ones putting up with the discomfort of this condition; kindly visit . NeuroEquilibrium has advanced diagnostic devices and provides treatment for vestibular oriented disorders, such as tinnitus, disequilibrium etc.

    As Dr. Kapoor and Dr. Borkar explain, BPPV is a less threatening inner ear issue than Meniere’s disease or a vestibular neuritis. Inner ear helps the body to do 2 important functions, balancing and hearing. Dix-Hallpike test is the first manual test that is conducted to check for nystagmus, i.e, involuntary rapid eye movements in the patients with vestibular problems. As said in the post, a trained professional can diagnose the cause by looking at the patient’s eye movements.

    Along with Epley maneuver, one can also be advised with Foster maneuver, Semont maneuver, Brandt-Daroff exercises, and Crowthorne head turning exercises. They give much comfort from the BPPV condition.

    Vestibular ( inner ear region that transmits signals to the brain and help the body gauge movement and balance itself) issues are best diagnosed by neurotologists.

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