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Get dizzy when laying on stomach. Experinecing benign positional vertigo. Sever anxiety issues. What can help?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
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Hi I have noticed that I get a little dizzy lately when I lay on my stomach and look down (sort of the postion you would be in on a massage table). For years I would experience benign positional vertigo from time to time while laying on back. I would fall asleep on my stomach and at some point during the night, I would roll over to my back and would then get the vertigo. This would happen only about once or twice a year. However a few months ago I started to fall asleep on my back instead of my stomach and now things are kind of reversed. I have no issues on my back with vertigo, but now on my stomach. It is only when my head is in a certain position. I have also noticed it if I bend over the tub to wash my hair. Just curious what would be causing this? Also I should add that recently I have been having severe anxiety issues as well and have been taking 20mg of Celexa daily. However the vertigo started months before I developed anxiety. Thanks.
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Naveen Kumar 5 hours later


Thanks for the query and a detailed history.

The symptoms described by you seem to be of either benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) or cervical vertigo.

BBPV is characterized by brief episodes of mild to intense dizziness. Symptoms of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo are triggered by specific changes in the position of your head, such as rolling over the bed, turning your head up or down, lying down, and sitting up in bed. Occasionally, one may also feel out of balance when standing or walking. This can be confirmed by Hallpike's test (an out office procedure) and can be corrected at the same time depending upon the affected side by Epley's maneuver. This does not require any medicines.

Secondly, cervical vertigo is a type of dizziness caused by neck problems. This is due to transient blockage in the flow of the blood to the brain. Various conditions such as trauma to the neck, arthritis, neck surgery, chiropractic manipulation, etc. can lead to cervical vertigo.

Both the above conditions require a complete examination by a good ENT specialist and a neurologist. And, the doctor may order for a MRI of the spine if required, to diagnose any compression problems in the spinal cord.

Hope I have answered your query: I will be available for the follow-up queries.

Dr. Naveen Kumar N.
ENT and Head & Neck Surgeon
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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