Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) - Symptoms

The main symptom of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the feeling that you or your surroundings are spinning, whirling, or tilting. This sensation is called vertigo.

It is important to understand the difference between vertigo and dizziness. People often use those two terms as if they meant the same thing. But they are different symptoms, and they may point to different problems.

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Tay Sachs Disease

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Tay Sachs Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Read the Tay Sachs Disease article > >

  • Vertigo is the feeling that you are spinning or the world is spinning around you. It happens when your body's balance sensory systems disagree about what kind of movement they sense. You may find it hard to walk or stand. You may even lose your balance and fall. If your vertigo is bad enough, you may also have nausea and vomiting.
  • Dizziness is not a feeling that you are spinning. It is a woozy or unsteady feeling.

To find out whether your vertigo is caused by BPPV, your doctor will want to find out what causes it, how bad it is, and how long it lasts. With BPPV:

  • Tilting the head, looking up or down, rolling over in bed, or getting in and out of bed causes vertigo.
  • It begins a few seconds after you move your head.
  • It usually lasts less than a minute. The spinning sensation may be mild, or it may be bad enough to cause nausea and vomiting.
  • Vertigo becomes less noticeable each time you repeat the same movement. After 3 or 4 repeats, the movement may no longer cause vertigo. Several hours may pass before the same movement again causes vertigo.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    nerve damage
    Learn how this disease affects the nervous system.
    senior woman with lost expression
    Know the early warning signs.
    woman in art gallery
    Tips to stay smart, sharp, and focused.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
    senior man
    boy hits soccer ball with head
    red and white swirl
    marijuana plant
    brain illustration stroke
    nerve damage
    Alzheimers Overview
    Graphic of number filled head and dna double helix