Symptoms & Signs
The main symptom is a spinning sensation, which:
- Is usually triggered by head movement
- Often starts suddenly
Most often, patients say they cannot roll in bed or tilt their head up to look at something.
Other symptoms can include:
- Vision complaints, such as a perception that things are jumping or moving
- Vomiting (in severe cases)
Diagnosis & Tests
To diagnose benign positional vertigo, the health care provider will often perform a test called the Dix-Hallpike maneuver. The doctor holds your head in a certain position and asks you to lie quickly backward over a table. As you do this, the doctor will look for abnormal eye movements and ask if you feel a spinning sensation. The doctor may use various methods to help evaluate your eye movements.
A physical exam is otherwise normal. A complete medical history and careful neurological exam should be done to rule out other reasons for your symptoms. Tests that may be done include:
- Evoked auditory potential studies
- Head CT
- Head MRI
- Magnetic resonance angiography of the head
- Warming and cooling the inner ear with water (caloric stimulation) to test eye movements
Benign positional vertigo : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Benign positional vertigo : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Benign positional vertigo : Treatment
Review Date : 9/27/2008
Reviewed By : Daniel B. Hoch, PhD, MD, Assistant Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School, Department of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.