Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo: Management and Its Impact on Falls

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Abstract

Introduction:

Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common cause of dizziness in the elderly. This has been identified as a risk factor in falls. Falls are the leading cause of disability and the leading cause of death from injury among people over 75 in the UK.

Methods:

We assessed the effect of BPPV treatment on falls in an elderly population by retrospectively reviewing one unit’s experience of BPPV management over an 8-year period from June 2008 to June 2016. We specifically assessed patients who were referred for the primary reason of falls and were aged over 65 years. These patients were evaluated and treated with particle repositioning maneuvers if their positional tests were positive. The frequency of falls prior to their visit and at 6-month clinic follow-up were reviewed.

Results:

The total number of falls in the cohort reduced significantly (P < .0001) after the procedure, from 128 to 46 falls (64% reduction). Associated comorbidities were also evaluated in this group.

Conclusion:

A prompt and effective treatment of BPPV is prudent to prevent devastating falls in older people in our communities.

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