Paroxysmal positional vertigo (also known as canalithiasis or cupulolithiasis) is the most common type of vertigo and it mainly affects people in their sixties and older. Doctor Luca Malvezzi, otolaryngologist and head-and-neck surgeon at Humanitas, spoke about this in an interview with Repubblica .
This kind of vertigo manifests itself with symptoms such as nausea, vomit, difficulties in focusing your eyes, and sudden, strong vertigines. “As with peripheral vertigo, the main symptom are visual hallucinations”, doctor Malvezzi says.
What are the causes of paroxysmal positional vertigo?
In most cases it is impossible to ascertain the cause of this ailment, but its appearance is often linked to a trauma: a fall, a rear-end collision with your car, a scrimmage. “The symptoms are triggered by the detachment of the otoliths, calcium crystals that look like little pebbles, that fall from the inner ear and then fluctuate in the semicircular canals, that are in the posterior area of the vestibule. This amplifies the head positioning-related signal, and finally vertigo is triggered”, the doctor explains.
How can it be cured?
“Vertigines are risky because they may cause falls and consequent household accidents. However, contrary to what usually happens, movement is the natural physiotherapy of the balance organs”, doctor Malvezzi explains. For this reason, you should move whenever possible in order to restore your ears’ function. Even in the acute phase, vestibular moves help restore the position of the otoliths and solve the vertigo.