Positional paroxysmal dizziness (also called canalolithiasis or cupololithiasis) is the most common type of dizziness and particularly affects people over sixty years of age. Dr. Luca Malvezzi, specialist in Otorhinolaryngology and Cervical Facial Surgery in Humanitas, spoke about this topic in an interview with the Republic.

“This type of dizziness occurs with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and difficulty in focusing and extreme sudden dizziness. Similar to peripheral dizziness, the main symptom is visual hallucination,” adds Dr. Malvezzi.


What are the causes?

In the majority of cases, it is not possible to identify the cause of the disease, but its appearance is very often linked to a trauma: a fall, a collision, and/or a clash during sport activities. “The symptoms are triggered by the detachment of small pebbles, calcium crystals (otolithe), in the inner ear, and their fluctuation in the semicircular channels, structures that are found in the posterior part of the vestibule. This amplifies the head’s positioning signal and finally triggers dizziness,” explains the specialist.


How do you treat it?

“The risk is that the dizziness crises can cause a fall or a domestic accident. However, contrary to what often happens, movement is the natural physiotherapy of balance organs”, explains Dr. Malvezzi. Where possible, movement facilitates functional recovery. Even in the acute phase, vestibular maneuvers help to reposition otolithes and resolve the crisis.