Tips for driving with BPPV
A majority of people drive vehicles, whether it is just for fun or to work. Driving has become an essential part of one’s life. But a repeated episode of vertigo spells hampers the ability to drive properly. It is very difficult for a person to live with such a condition. It creates hindrance in accomplishing daily activities while making life difficult. Vertigo is caused due to several reasons and can affect a person of any age irrespective of age and gender. If a person is diagnosed with benign positional vertigo after the age of 40, it can be an age-related issue. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo in older age people.
Firstly, you need to understand what is vertigo and BPPV? When a person experiences a spinning sensation it is referred to as vertigo. A person suffering from vertigo may experience whether the room is spinning around or a person may feel he is spinning all by himself. BPPV is the most common cause of vertigo that is diagnosed in the majority of patients. The world seems to get blurred if a person is suffering from BPPV vertigo.
BPPV stands for “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. Benign positional vertigo occurs due to disturbance in the inner ear. BPPV is caused due to the deposition of calcium crystals in the inner ear which makes the person lose balance. It blocks the vestibular system that is responsible for sending signals to the brain, for the body to function properly. The vestibular nerve passes from the inner ear to the brain. The blockage in the nerve results in sending unclear messages to the brain which makes the person feels dizzy or light-headed. Head injury, prolonged bed rest, ear infection or surgeries are some of the common BPPV causes.
Mild vertigo spells can be treated at home by following certain home remedies and maneuvers. But if the condition is likely to get severe, seek medical help immediately. An expert neurologist will diagnose benign positional vertigo by conducting a BPPV test and would suggest the medicines and best BPPV treatments and BPPV exercises to ease the issue.
Daily activities like crossing the road in heavy traffic, driving a vehicle or lifting heavyweights become impossible when you are experiencing benign positional vertigo.
Sudden episodes of vertigo can occur at any time when a person is experiencing BPPV. It lasts for minutes to hours which makes it quite difficult for a person to drive. In some cases, the vertigo conditions resolve on self but that is not always the case. A majority of patients have a one common question
Can I drive while having BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo)?
You definitely don’t want to risk your life and the lives of people who are traveling with you. It is recommended you should stop driving if you are diagnosed with BPPV as you may experience sudden bouts of dizziness anytime anywhere, which risks your life while driving. It can prove to be a life-threatening task. Travel with cabs to your job and hangouts, it’s necessary to take some precautions if you are experiencing BPPV vertigo. It is even recommended if your job revolves around any such condition, inform your employer about the same. You can return to your daily jobs and drive to work once BPPV settles. Your neurologist would suggest you with some tips and BPPV treatments that help in resolving benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.
Here are some BPPV treatments that allow you to drive:
Your doctor will first carry a BPPV test to diagnose the cause of vertigo and recommend treatment accordingly. If you are diagnosed with BPPV vertigo, the doctor will prescribe certain BPPV medications, surgery or physical BPPV exercises to treat the specific condition.
- BPPV Medicines
If a person is experiencing BPPV is diagnosed with disturbance or inflammation in the inner ear, the doctor would prescribe certain antibiotics and other medications. Vertigo medicines like meclizine which are available under various brand names like Antivert, Bonine, Dramamine II, D-Vert are prescribed by doctors if a person is diagnosed with acute BPPV symptoms. They are quite helpful in easing sudden vertigo bouts. Doctors can even prescribe antibiotics like Vertin, Stemetil, Stugeron, etc. if BPPV is caused due to inner ear infection.
- Epley Maneuver helps to treat BPPV
Epley maneuver is the best BPPV exercises recommended by doctors for easing out the issue. It one of the simplest and the most commonly used BPPV exercises that help in treating BPPV vertigo. It helps in eliminating vertigo symptoms to a greater extent as it involves the movement of the head and the body, which helps in the repositioning of the calcium crystals deposited in the inner ear. It is advised to practice Epley maneuver after the proper guidance of your doctor. He will suggest you with the right techniques for performing Epley maneuver as it involves certain motions with the head and the body. It can be performed at home with certain cautions. It is advised to practice Epley maneuver in the presence of another person as you may feel slightly dizzy after the completion of the exercise.
- Practice Brandt Daroff Exercises
Your doctor would advise you to practice Brandt Daroff Exercises regularly to treat vertigo spells caused by BPPV. Performing Brandt Daroff Exercises daily under expert guidance helps in treating primary symptoms of BPPV vertigo. It helps in eliminating vertigo symptoms to a greater extent and even prevents it from future occurrence. It is advised to perform the Brandt-Daroff exercise two to three times daily up to several weeks to achieve satisfactory results and settle BPPV vertigo.
The Semont maneuver, barbeque maneuver are some of the other BPPV exercises that can help in treating BPPV vertigo. Consult an expert neurologist before practicing any maneuver on self. Your doctor will guide you with the right techniques to perform these maneuvers as it involves the rotation of the head and the body.