Do this test if you have vertigo to screen for BPPV

Do this test if you have vertigo to screen for BPPV

Vertigo or dizziness is not a disease in itself, but rather a leading symptom of various diseases of differing etiologies. These include dysfunction of the vestibular system, both peripheral (inner ear, vestibular nerve), central (brainstem, cerebellum) or even from the cervical spine (cervicogenic dizziness). Blood pressure regulation disorders, such as orthostatic dizziness, and adverse drug effects could also cause symptoms.

Any person who is experiencing these symptoms should seek out professional medical advice for appropriate differential diagnosis.

Vertigo is the sensation that you, or the environment around you, is moving or spinning.

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of vertigo. Recurrent attacks of spinning vertigo induced by changes in head position relative to gravity lasting for several seconds each, are the main manifestation of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. 

Even though not true medical terminology, we often hear patients say their “crystals are out of place in ear” when speaking of BPPV.

The treatment of choice for BPPV is utilizing canalith repositioning procedures. Appropriate canalith repositioning procedure results in immediate resolution of BPPV in ≈80% of patients after single application, and the success rate increases up to 92% with repetition of the procedure

However, the appropriate canalith repositioning procedure should be selected according the affected canal and subtype (canalolithiactic vs cupulolithiatic) of BPPV. In our clinic, this is done by our Vestibular Physical Therapist during a thorough subjective and physical examination. This examination makes sure you get the right treatment for the right condition.

We utilize special technology intended to aid in confirming our diagnosis via digital goggles, but we have found that in most cases, what the patient tell us really gives us the correct diagnosis. With the backing of research by Kim et al in 2020, we can now confirm that the accuracy of a questionnaire-based diagnosis of BPPV is now acceptable. We want to share this research with you to help you get relief!

This is a 6 question, self-application form and can be utilized by anyone with symptoms of vertigo. We have provided our version of this questionnaire to help others and you can take it by clicking on the picture entitled, “BPPV Questionnaire”.


The research findings by Kim et al found that the questionnaire had the following statistics in regards to the diagnosis of BPPV:

SENSITIVITY = 87%

SPECIFICITY = 89.8%

PRECISION OF THE QUESTIONNAIRES FOR THE DIAGNOSIS OF BPPV = 80.0%

These are actually pretty good numbers in considering we really aim for 90% of the above values to make a confirmation of our hypothesis for a patient coming into our clinic for treatment. Notably, 87% patients showed the concordant results between the questionnaire and positional tests, which are considered the gold standard in the diagnosis of BPPV.

If you need consultation or advice on the appropriate treatment for BPPV, feel free to contact us or book an appointment for an in-person examination.

Call us: 919-728-0335