If you’ve been experiencing benign positional vertigo, sometimes the episodes last only a few seconds while in extreme cases, you may have experienced an episode lasting for days. So, how long does benign positional vertigo last? It really varies but in general, most cases of this kind of vertigo only last from a few seconds to several minutes. But to understand more about vertigo, let’s delve deeper into its symptoms and causes.
Understanding Benign Positional Vertigo
Vertigo in itself is not a disease. It is instead, a symptom of an underlying health condition, usually of the inner ear in the case of benign positional vertigo. It is important that this condition be identified so that both the health issue and the vertigo may be addressed and treated.
With vertigo, it is not just a plain feeling of being dizzy. The sensation that you get from vertigo makes you feel that the world around you is moving. You may even feel that you’re the one moving even if you’re just sitting or standing still.
Episodes of vertigo can manifest and then disappear which can cause disorientation. Such episodes can be just mild while some may be chronic, lasting for a lengthier period. Here are some of the symptoms that you’d feel if you have vertigo.
• Loss of hearing
• Ears ringing
• Loss of balance
• Unusual movements of the eyes
Causes of Benign Positional Vertigo
There are several factors that can affect how long an episode of vertigo lasts. For example, the root cause of your vertigo is a main factor in this. Here are some of the health conditions that have vertigo as a symptom.
With a severe vertigo episode because of this condition, a person may experience vertigo for several hours up to a few days. Apart from vertigo, the person with this health issue may also experience hearing loss, vomiting, and nausea.
Problems in the Inner Ear
If you have inner ear infection or inflammation, you may experience benign positional vertigo until such time that the inflammation or ear infection subsides. The ear should be treated immediately so that the vertigo will be treated as well. So, it’s best that you go to your doctor if you suspect that you have ear problems. The doctor will be able to prescribe the right medications for that condition.
Head Injury or Stroke
For some people, vertigo doesn’t seem to go away. This is usually true for those who have had neck or head injury or stroke. Chronic or long-term vertigo can be felt and it’s best to talk to a specialist who can address the main cause so that the vertigo may be controlled as well.
Do’s and Don’ts When Experiencing Vertigo
When having a vertigo attack, there are things that you can do so that you’ll remain safe. You may feel that everything’s out of control as the world around you starts to spin. It is important that you remain calm and do the following steps.
Stay Calm and Sit Down
You’re more prone to falling and injuries when you’re experiencing vertigo. So, when you start to experience symptoms of it, find somewhere that you can sit down. Focus on your breathing and stay calm. While you’re still feeling the vertigo symptoms, don’t attempt to stand or walk. Try to call someone who can guide you if you feel you need to go to the hospital.
Pull Over when Driving
When you have a vertigo attack when driving, it can be very dangerous. You may put yourself as well as other people at risk. So you should slow down until you can pull over at the soonest time possible. Wait for the episode to subside and evaluate yourself if you’re ready to get back on the road.
Ask Your Doctor for Treatment Options
Since benign positional vertigo is because of a condition in the inner ear, you ought to go to an ear specialist so that the complication may be treated. When you don’t seek treatment for it, the vertigo will get worse. Also, if the vertigo continues to persist after your ear has been treated, it is important that you undergo other medical exams to determine if there are underlying causes.
There are some home remedies that you can do to reduce the symptoms of vertigo. For example, try to avoid consuming alcohol, smoking tobacco products, and drinking caffeinated beverages as these substances may make the vertigo worse. Also, it would benefit your whole body if you keep yourself well-hydrated at all times.
If you experience an episode of vertigo that comes with chest pain, passing out, inability to see, hear, speak, or walk, weakness in your legs or arms, high fever, or severe headache, immediately go to the hospital so that your condition may be evaluated and treated.
So, how long does benign positional vertigo last? Since it is a complication of the inner ear, the vertigo may persist for as long as you don’t seek treatment for the ear condition. Episodes of vertigo can last for a few seconds to several minutes usually.
Don’t wait for it to get worse before you seek treatment. Most of the underlying conditions that cause vertigo are treatable. So, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible so that the vertigo and the underlying cause may be addressed.
Dr. Tymothy L. Flory graduated from Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri. Before opening Atlas Brain Spine, Dr. Flory practiced Upper Cervical Chiropractic in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Flory completed Board Certification of the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association in 2012 and is currently a Credentialed Instructor for the organization.