Mav & bppv?

Was wondering if any of you fellow MAV’ers out there have ever experienced a nasty case of BPPV with MAV? I understand that they can co-morbidly exist and MAV can also mimic BPPV.

I used to have BPPV in my left ear and after several weeks in vestibular rehab and who knows how many epley maneuvers I got rid of it back in May. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and I only experienced the vertigo when my head was in a dangling position. Yesterday morning I woke up at 4am with the whole world spinning… “Shit… It’s back!” I thought. Only way I could sleep after that was propped up on pillows. Sunday night, I had a few drinks (only thing that relaxes me these days), so I thought it was because of that. But all day yesterday at work I felt really dizzy everytime I’d look up or down… Something strange that I never felt before last time I had BPPV, but knew that these were “classic” symptoms.

When I got home from work I did an epley, assuming it was my left ear again. Well I when I went into the first position (lay back and head to the left) I was fine, no dizziness just a weird feeling in my head. But when I moved into the position to the right… BAM! I experienced rotational vertigo like I NEVER had before. It was spinning so fast I panicked and sat up & nearly puked… It took a good minute for the room to stop spinning. Thankfully my husband was there with me (cos I was so freaked out to do the epley to begin with), so he calmed me down.

Is it possible to randomly get BPPV in my right ear after having it in the left for so long?? Could it have been caused by drinking alcohol? I decided to reverse my Epley and do it for the right ear. My husband literally had to hold me down and relax me because it was spinning SO violently… scariest thing I ever experienced!!! I somehow got through the maneuver twice. Last night I slept like crap, only because I was super paranoid about getting the spins again…plus sleeping propped up on 3 pillows is never comfortable.

I feel like I am in a never ending shit cycle. I finally got the MAV 80% under control with Inderal and just as I am starting to feel “normal” and do normal things, this happens. And to top it all off, I had to take a year of medical leave from grad school because of all this inner ear crap that’s been happening to me… well I start classes again… TODAY! And of course, I still don’t have any medical coverage yet (stupid temp job), so as much as I would love to go back to vestibular therapy, I simply can’t afford it.

Have any of you ever experienced BPPV like this? Any tips on how to get through it? I feel myself sinking again…

Hi, I have BPPV and MAV, and an Epley maneouvre always made me spin violently like you describe, but it does pass (whether you move out of the position, or keep still, I believe it still passes, although it’s very much an instinct to move out of the position isn’t it, cos it feels so awful and makes you feel panicky). I also span a fair amount on the bit at the end when you sit back up. But it does seem to sort it for me. Mine has always been on the right side, but I believe it’s not that uncommon to have problems with the other ear. Which is very unfair on top of MAV! Hope you are feeling much better very soon.

thank you so much for the response, beechleaf. I, too found that this time I spin quite a bit when I sit back up… Something I never dealt with before. Can I ask you, how long does it usually take for your BPPV to go away? Also, how often do you do your EPley? my understanding is to keep doing them until you no longer have symptoms… so do you do them 1x a day or more?


Hi Suki,

I’m sorry but I can’t really give a clear answer about how long it takes for the BPPV to go away. The last time I had a bout, I had the Epley done by the consultant, and was much improved by the next day. I was getting spinning every time I lay down at night and every time I sat up, but after this particular Epley it was almost an instant cure.

But on previous occasions it hadn’t seemed to help, and on one occasion I got drastically worse the day after an Epley. I don’t really know whether I didn’t actually have BPPV on the previous occasions (and it was just MAV mimicking it) or whether I did, but for some reasons the crystals weren’t moved as successfully as the last time.

It’s so complicated when you have more than one thing going on!

Hi Suki, sorry you are having such awful trouble with BPPV. In most cases, the Epley should be an instant cure, but obviously yours isn’t one of them.

I was about to suggest seeing a vestibular rehab therapist when I read your post again and see you’ve done that, and can’t afford to go back. Besides the standard Epley maneuver, there are (as you may well know) other canalith repositioning maneuvers that may be helpful depending on which semicircular canal is involved. Also there is some other manuever whose name I can’t remember (Semont?) that is some very sudden movement done by a doctor or therapist that is supposed to help in some situations–stuck crystals or something?

I hope you find a way to see a vestibular PT–probably the person who could help you most.

I have had some isolated instances of BPPV–usually on the left but at least once on the right. Luckily I haven’t had bad ones, and the only time it repeated (over four days), I was able to immediately stop it with the standard Epley.

Good luck to you–it sounds awful.


I also have BPPV and MAV. I had vestibular rehab back in March for BPPV and for the most part, the spinning has been reduced substantially when I’m in bed at night. Now I’m just dealing with MAV dizziness and brain mother phuckin fog… :evil: