Repositioning head maneuvers, also called canalith repositioning procedure or Epley maneuvers, are used to treat patients diagnosed with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Epley maneuvers are a series of head position changes that move the canaliths from the canal back to the utricle. This rehabilitation can provide relief from BPPV in only a few sessions.
BPPV is caused by a mechanical problem in the inner ear, which is a part of the vestibular system that helps maintain balance. When calcium carbonate crystals that are normally embedded in the utricle part of the inner ear become dislodged, they can migrate into the canals and clump together. This interferes with the fluid in the canals that helps sense head motion and false balance signals are sent to the brain.
The Epley maneuvers are used to remove the crystals from the canals. The Epley maneuvers involve sequential movements of your head into four positions and maintaining each position for 30 seconds. If your BPPV is not resolved after one or two sessions, you can complete the Brandt-Daroff exercises at home. These exercises are performed in three sets per day for two weeks and involve lying down and sitting up. A physical therapist will show you how to safely complete these.
Canalith repositioning is ineffective in rare cases. Nearly 80 percent of people who undergo canalith repositioning experience relief in vertigo symptoms. Options for these patients include vestibular rehabilitation, home exercises, canal plugging surgery and medication.
In order to determine the appropriate treatment plan for you, your otolaryngologist and audiologist will need to evaluate and diagnose your symptoms. Contact our office at 337-266-9820 to schedule an appointment.