Treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo - Epley Maneuver

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): Understanding, Diagnosing, and Treating

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common vestibular disorder that affects the inner ear, causing episodes of dizziness and a spinning sensation. While the condition is generally not serious, it can significantly impact an individual's quality of life. This article aims to explore the various aspects of BPPV, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and available treatments.

Understanding Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Inner Ear Anatomy and Balance

To comprehend BPPV, it's essential to understand the anatomy of the inner ear and its role in maintaining balance. The inner ear contains the vestibular system, which includes the semicircular canals and otolith organs. These structures detect changes in head position and movement, sending signals to the brain to help maintain balance.

BPPV Mechanism

BPPV occurs when tiny calcium carbonate crystals, known as otoconia, become dislodged from the otolith organs and migrate into the semicircular canals. These displaced crystals interfere with the normal flow of fluid in the canals, sending incorrect signals to the brain about head movements. This confusion leads to brief episodes of dizziness and vertigo, triggered by specific head positions.

Symptoms of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Vertigo Episodes

The hallmark symptom of BPPV is vertigo, a spinning sensation that often occurs with changes in head position. Vertigo episodes in BPPV are typically brief, lasting for less than a minute, but they can be intense and provoke nausea.


Nystagmus, an involuntary rhythmic movement of the eyes, is another common symptom. It often accompanies vertigo episodes and can aid in diagnosing BPPV.


Individuals with BPPV may experience a sense of unsteadiness or disequilibrium even between vertigo episodes.

Diagnosing Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Clinical Evaluation

Diagnosing BPPV starts with a thorough clinical evaluation. Healthcare providers will review the patient's medical history, including the onset and nature of symptoms.

Dix-Hallpike Maneuver

The Dix-Hallpike maneuver is a key diagnostic tool for BPPV. During this test, the patient's head is moved into specific positions to provoke vertigo, and the accompanying eye movements (nystagmus) are observed.

Supine Roll Test

The supine roll test is another maneuver that can be employed to diagnose BPPV. It involves rolling the patient onto their side to elicit vertigo and nystagmus.

Treatment Options for Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Epley Maneuver

The Epley maneuver is a widely used and effective treatment for BPPV. It involves a series of head and body movements designed to reposition the displaced crystals within the inner ear, relieving symptoms.

The most commonly used therapeutic maneuver in the treatment of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), a commonly known cause of vertigo, which is defined as the dislocation or shifting of the inner ear balance crystals and the Epley Maneuver described by Dr.John Epley. You can watch Epley maneuver video on the above. In our inner ear, there are 3 semicircular canals in a position perpendicular to each other. The success rate of this Maneuver, which is defined for the treatment of the disease of the rear canal defect, is high. Dix-Hallpike Maneuver is performed for the diagnosis of the disease, which is a separate and similar maneuver.

Epley manevrası - İç kulakta denge taşı kopması tedavisi - İç kulakta denge taşı kayması tedavisi - Arka kanal BPPV' si tedavisi - Vertigo tedavisi - Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo - Benign paroksismal pozisyonel vertigo - BPPV
Patients with a posterior canal BPPV may experience dizziness episodes that typically revolve around the head with horizontal head motion. In general, patients come to the doctor avoiding sudden head movement. nausea and vomiting may also occur. The best treatment of the disease is to perform therapeutic maneuvers, restraint of head movements, half vertical sleep, noise and noise stimuli. Unfortunately, this disease, which is a repetitive disease, is good and does not cause any additional adverse effects on the patient in terms of health (no problem if the patient does not hit his head or go in the wrong direction while driving a car while floating in the sea ...).

Before delving into the Epley Maneuver, it's essential to understand the underlying cause of BPPV. The inner ear contains tiny crystals that help detect head movements and maintain balance. In BPPV, these crystals become dislodged and migrate into the semicircular canals, disrupting the normal flow of fluid and sending incorrect signals to the brain about head position. This miscommunication results in brief but intense episodes of vertigo triggered by specific head movements.

The Epley Maneuver in Action

Patient Positioning: The patient begins by sitting upright on an examination table.

Head Movement: The healthcare provider assists the patient in moving their head quickly into a specific position that encourages the relocation of the displaced crystals.

Lying Back: The patient then lies down on their back, with their head hanging slightly over the edge of the table. This position facilitates the movement of the crystals toward the exit of the affected semicircular canal.

Head Rotation: The head is turned to the side, maintaining the alignment necessary for the crystals to exit the canal.

Return to Upright Position: The patient is gradually brought back to an upright position, completing the maneuver.

Effectiveness and Relief

The Epley Maneuver is known for its effectiveness in providing rapid relief from the symptoms of BPPV. By guiding the displaced crystals out of the affected semicircular canal, the maneuver helps restore normal fluid dynamics in the inner ear, resolving the mismatched signals that cause vertigo.

Precautions and Considerations

While the Epley Maneuver is generally safe and well-tolerated, it is essential to consider individual health conditions and the presence of other medical issues. Patients should always seek professional guidance, and the maneuver should be performed under the supervision of a qualified healthcare provider.

At-Home Modifications

Healthcare providers may also provide instructions for at-home modifications to complement the effects of the Epley Maneuver. These can include sleeping with an elevated head, avoiding sudden head movements, and incorporating specific positional exercises to further support the repositioning of the crystals.

For individuals grappling with the disruptive symptoms of BPPV, the Epley Maneuver offers a beacon of hope. Its simplicity, coupled with its high success rate, makes it a first-line treatment for many cases of BPPV. If you suspect you may have BPPV or are experiencing symptoms, it's crucial to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your condition and determine the most appropriate course of action, which may include the application of the Epley Maneuver for effective relief.

Brandt-Daroff Exercises

Brandt-Daroff exercises can be recommended for at-home management of BPPV. These exercises involve a specific sequence of head movements to help habituate the vestibular system to positional changes.

Canalith Repositioning Procedure (CRP)

CRP is a collective term for maneuvers like the Epley maneuver, aimed at guiding the otoconia out of the affected semicircular canal. Healthcare providers may choose the most suitable maneuver based on the specific canal involved.


While medications are generally not the first line of treatment for BPPV, anti-vertigo medications or anti-nausea drugs may be prescribed to manage symptoms in certain cases.

Lifestyle Modifications

Patients with BPPV are often advised to make lifestyle modifications to minimize the risk of symptom recurrence. This may include sleeping with the head elevated, avoiding sudden head movements, and incorporating balance exercises into daily routines.

Prognosis and Outlook

The prognosis for BPPV is generally favorable. Most individuals respond well to appropriate treatment, and symptoms often resolve or significantly improve. However, BPPV can be recurrent, and some individuals may experience multiple episodes over time.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is a common and treatable vestibular disorder that can significantly impact an individual's daily life. With proper diagnosis and targeted treatment, individuals with BPPV can find relief from the unsettling symptoms of vertigo and dizziness. If you suspect you may have BPPV or are experiencing symptoms, it's crucial to seek medical attention for a thorough evaluation and appropriate management.

Link group where you can read previously published articles about Vertigo on this website >>

Source  Links >> Clinical Practice Guideline: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (Update) - PubMed ( / Update on benign paroxysmal positional vertigo - PMC (

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

Private Office:
Address: İncirli Cad. No:41, Kat:4 (Dilek Patisserie Building), Postal code: 34147, Bakırköy - İstanbul
Appointment Phone: +90 212 561 00 52
Mobile phone: +90 533 6550199
Fax: +90 212 542 74 47