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The most common cause of peripheral vertigo, which is described as a perceived feeling of spinning or moving when you are in fact still, is a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).

BPPV is more likely to develop as we get older, but it can exist in the young. Symptoms of spinning may develop suddenly and usually last a matter of a few seconds, never more than a minute. The sensation of movement is caused by debris floating in the semi-circular canals of the balance system which gives your brain the message you are moving when in fact you are stationary.

A simple technique called Epley's manoeuvre has a success rate of over 90% for BPPV, if performed by a qualified therapist. Patients may be given instructions to perform this at home but this only has a success rate of 50%, so it is often best to seek help for a more favourable outcome. Results from studies suggest that one exposure to Epleys yielded very successful results, whereas medication alone required multiple visits to their GP.

Gaur, S. et al. (2015). Efficacy of Epley's manoeuvre treating BPPV patients.: A prospective observational study. International Journal of Otolaryngol. 487160.

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