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Head spinning after nightcap. Do you have any idea what may cause this?

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Practicing since : 1991
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Two nights ago I went to bed, had a nightcap as usual, and turned to go to sleep. I immediatelly had a "head spinning", which I'd never had before. After a while it stopped, but when I woke in the morning I had almost immediately the same reaction. During today I've tried to relalx, but whenever I lie flat, and then get up, it seems to trigger the same reaction. Do you have any idea what may cause this?
Posted Wed, 23 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. This seems to be BPPV (Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo). Sudden short duration vertigo on change of head position such as lying down, getting up, turning over in bed, looking up (top shelf vertigo) with a latent period of a few seconds between the change of head position and the onset of vertigo is characteristic of BPPV.

2. Get a Neurologist or an ENT Specialist with an interest in Vertigo to examine you. The direct observation of vertigo and nystagmus ( eye movements) in various positions or with the help of ENG (ElectroNystagmoGraphy) helps diagnose BPPV. Hearing is usually normal in BPPV. Get your eardrums examined.

3. Other common causes such as Cervical Spondylosis, blood pressure (Orthostatic Hypotension) and blood flow problems (Basilar Insufficiency) must be ruled out. Get a Cervical spine X-ray and Neck Doppler done.

4. BPPV is a treatable cause of vertigo. Small particles in the semicircular canals get displaced and are repositioned with repositioning maneuvers.

I hope that I have answered your queries. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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