Positional dizziness from MAV vs BPPV

Was hoping that some of you who get positional dizziness from MAV could help me out here…

I’ve gotten BPPV in the past before. Yesterday morning, I was sleeping on my right side and woke up with crazy spinning. I got out of bed and found that looking down/looking up made me dizzy so I figured it was BPPV. I was slow with my movements and made an appointment with my neuro-oto for today. I was careful not to sleep on my right side last night and woke up this morning feeling fine. I even tried laying on my right side and I did not get dizzy. I went to the neurootologist and he had me lay back on the table and did the dix-halpike maneuver. He checked both the horizontal and vertical canals… No nystagmus/dizziness of any kind for me!! I was shocked. I’ve never had BPPV for one day, only for it to be disappear the next. Most of my “attacks” usually last two weeks. He didn’t do the Epley on me since I had no spinning on his table. And I was sent on my merry way

Of course now I just went to lay down in bed for the night and I started feeling dizzy again. I got up and found that once again looking down (with my neck) is making me dizzy as well. What the hell?! Has BPPV returned or is this what MAV positional dizziness is like?

The whole time I’ve had MAV I’ve knock on wood never experienced any vertigo, just lightheadedness.

Was wondering if those with MAV positional dizziness could explain to me what it’s like for them?


It sounds like just a typical MAV symptom to me. I don’t know exactly what posistional vertigo means, but I feel those symptoms 24/7 along with all the other nasty symptoms. But if I turn my head either way, it makes the dizziness worse. If I look up or down, it also intensifies. I have noticed lately that if I lay on my left side, I sometimes get dizzy but typically I don’t get dizzy laying down. Occasionally, but not always. My Oto neuro says everything is fine with my ears and ruled out bppv. Maybe next time I see him, I’ll have him check again. But it does sound like a MAV symptom.

Hope you feel better soon.

Hi suki
From my understanding rotational vertigo is when the room is spinning around you - I had this after seeing a chiro who worked on my neck a couple of years ago. I took some Ativan, got to sleep & by morning was OK. Those who have Meniers usually have the rotational vertigo and have to lie down until it stops. Positional vertigo is when you are the one who feels they are spinning, losing balance, falling over, etc. This symptom was the one (amongst others) that started when my MAV started and kept going until I had a high enough dose of meds to help stop it. Others who post here say they experience both rotational and positional vertigo - don’t know if you can have both at the same time, I hope not, that just wouldn’t be fair! Not that anything is fair with this wretched condition!

Hi Suki, I have had both rotational and positional vertigo with my MAV. I’ve always seen them as two sides of the same coin. They come and go randomly. I’ve never been able to sleep on my right side and if I do turn that way it sets off a short spin. I can’t look up too far without setting off the dizziness - looking up at supermarket shelves, tipping my head back to drink the last remnants of drink from a bottle for example. Both of those can bring on a very sharp, sudden spin which can literally knock me sideways. I don’t think I’ve ever had trouble looking down though. Just using my eyes to look up, down or sideways, as opposed to turning my whole neck and body, can also bring on a spin.

You say you were dizzy when you lay down - I go through spells where lying down is an absolute no-no, where anything other than upright brings on a feeling of dizziness, although not spinning.

MAV is such a complex, chameleon of a disease, it really is hard to get your head around it sometimes. What was like THIS yesterday is like THAT today! So much overlapping it’s hard to sort it all out.


Suki, I cant sleep on my right side or my left side, the sleeping part is OK, its when I turn over. One year, I tested this out and three times, I turned onto my back and had spinning vertigo (the nasty sort). Dont like laying flat either, so I sleep on my back propped up with 3 pillows (top one feather). Dont like tipping my head back either, I have just been given some eyedrops and finding it difficult to tip my head back to put them in, but I rarely wake in the night with that awful spinning vertigo since sleeping this way.


I’m similar to Christine - Tipping my head back isn’t good, and I can’t sleep on my left side. Twice I’ve had the horrible spinning vertigo. Both times it seemed to be kicked off when I was sleeping on my left side and rolled over to the right. The first time it went away after a day - and with the help of some meclizine. The second time a trip to the doc and a steroid injection kicked it out. (Though that second time was the beginning of my non-stop MAV that started in 2/2011.) And, I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it’s my left ear that has a constant sense of pressure (as opposed to the right, which isn’t nearly as bad, and comes and goes) and rings louder than the right. Oi.