Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Is Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo Really Benign?

I believe there are times when Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo is truly benign and I believe there are times when it is not even close to benign.  Whether or not we agree that benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is benign depends upon our definition of benign.  If the term benign means not cancerous or malignant, then BPPV is truly benign.  However, if benign means not life-threatening, not recurrent, not progressive or of no danger to health, then there are times when benign paroxysmal positional vertigo is not benign at all. 

When is BPPV not benign?  I suggest the following examples:
1.  When BPPV is caused by circulatory problems.  In this case, BPPV may be a result of a lack of blood flow to the inner ear.  This could be a sign of more ischemia to come in more important life sustaining places like the brainstem or cerebellum.  In this case, BPPV is a sign of life-threatening problems that may soon occur. 
2. When an individual falls to the floor and injurs something (fractures, head injuries, sprains and strains).  In this case, BPPV is of danger to health and can be life-threatening.
3.  When an individual develops movement phobias because of the intense sensations they experience when they move.  This is of danger to health because individuals often become "scared stiff" and develop disuse dysequilibrium. 
4.  Many cases of BPPV recur frequently.  That is opposite of what some define as benign.

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