The Epley maneuver is an exercise used to treat benign paroxysmal positional vertigo | mayoclinic.org (BPPV). BPPV is a condition of the inner ear that causes dizziness and vertigo. It is the result of displaced calcium crystals (canaliths) in the semicircular canals of the inner ear. When these canaliths end up in the semicircular canals instead of the utricle where they belong, your body receives incorrect signals that you are moving when you’re actually not.
How Does the Epley Maneuver Work?
In 1980, Dr. John Epley designed a series of movements that removes canaliths from the semicircular canals and sends them back to the utricle. The Epley maneuver may be performed in a doctor’s office by a physician or at home. The steps are detailed below:
In-office Epley Maneuver
- First, you will sit on an examination table with your legs fully extended in front of you.
- Your doctor will rotate your head at a 45-degree angle toward the ear causing vertigo.
- The doctor will push you back so you’re lying with your shoulders on the table. They will hold your head slightly off the table at a 30-degree angle until your dizziness subsides (30 seconds to two minutes).
- They will then rotate your head 90 degrees toward the other ear, until your head is 30 degrees away from the table. They will hold this position until your dizziness stops.
- Then, you will roll onto your side in the direction your head is facing, with your affected ear facing upward, again until dizziness stops.
- Finally, you will come back to a seated position.
- This process may be repeated up to three times.
While the Epley maneuver is most effective when performed by a physician, you can choose to repeat these steps on your own in your home if you continue to experience symptoms of dizziness or vertigo.
Other Causes of Vertigo
If repeating the Epley maneuver does not resolve your symptoms of BPPV, there is a chance your vertigo could have a different cause. For example, dizziness and vertigo could be side effects of:
- Ear infections
If you experience repeated episodes of dizziness and/or vertigo, schedule an appointment with LeMay Hearing and Balance today!
More about balance and dizziness:
- Seven Reasons You Might Be Feeling Dizzy
- What is Your Vestibular System?
- What is a Vestibular Assessment (ENG & VNG)