Skip to content

Brain & Nervous System Health Center

Font Size

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) - When To Call a Doctor

Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if you have vertigo (a spinning sensation) and:

  • You passed out (lost consciousness).
  • You have symptoms of a stroke, such as:
    • Sudden numbness, tingling, weakness, or loss of movement in your face, arm, or leg, especially on only one side of your body.
    • Sudden vision changes.
    • Sudden trouble speaking.
    • Sudden confusion or trouble understanding simple statements.
    • Sudden problems with walking or balance.
    • A sudden, severe headache that is different from past headaches.
  • You have chest pain.
  • You have a headache, especially if you also have a stiff neck and fever.
  • You have sudden hearing loss.
  • You have numbness or tingling that does not go away, anywhere on your body.
  • You have vomiting that doesn't stop.
  • You had a recent head injury.

Call your doctor now or seek immediate care if:

Recommended Related to Brain & Nervous System

Stages of Pituitary Tumors

Once a pituitary tumor has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if it has spread within the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) or to other parts of the body. The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. There is no standard staging system for pituitary tumors. Once a pituitary tumor is found, tests are done to find out if the tumor has spread into the brain or to other parts of the body. The following test may be used: MRI (magnetic resonance...

Read the Stages of Pituitary Tumors article > >

  • You have an attack of vertigo that is different from those you have had before or from what your doctor told you to expect.
  • You need medicine to control nausea and vomiting caused by severe vertigo.

Call your doctor to schedule an appointment if:

  • This is the first time you have had an attack of vertigo.
  • You have a low-pitched roaring, ringing, or hissing sound in your ear, especially if you have not had this before. This is called tinnitus.
  • You have frequent or severe episodes of vertigo that interfere with your activities.

Watchful waiting

If your symptoms suggest benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), watchful waiting may be appropriate. Over time BPPV may go away on its own. But treatment with a simple procedure in your doctor's office (either the Epley or Semont maneuver) can usually stop your vertigo right away. Talk to your doctor. If your vertigo interferes with your normal daily activities or causes nausea and vomiting, you may need treatment.

Who to see

The following health professionals are able to diagnose and treat BPPV and the causes of vertigo:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: December 19, 2012
    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.
    1
    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.
     
    Close up of eye
    12 culprits that affect your ability to focus.
    medical marijuana plant
    What is it used for?
     
    senior man
    Article
    brain research briefing
    Article
     
    Syringe
    Article
    Vaccine and needle
    VIDEO
     
    mans hands on laptop keyboard
    Article
    brain illustration stroke
    Slideshow
     
    most common stroke symptoms
    Article
    Parkinsons Disease Medications
    Article