Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is one of the most common causes of vertigo and results in brief spinning sensations, triggered by certain head movements. BPPV is an inner ear disorder whereby otoconia (commonly known as “crystals”) become dislodged and move into the semi-circular canals of the inner ear.
Although BPPV is often considered to be idiopathic (meaning there is no known cause), it commonly occurs more frequently in women, particularly over the age of 50 years old. This is seen to be due hormonal fluctuations during menopause which results in neurochemical changes and disturbs the metabolism in the inner ear.
Vestibular audiologists are well-trained to perform specific treatment manoeuvres to reposition the otoconia within the inner ear, and together with medical management from endocrinologists and gynaecologists, the symptoms and recurrence of BPPV in women can be significantly reduced.