Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes BPPV?

Your inner ear contains tiny calcium particles that help you keep your balance. Normally, these particles are distributed evenly in the inner ear’s 3 canals. When you move your head, the calcium particles stimulate nerve cells inside the canals. The nerve cells then send your brain a signal telling it which direction your head is moving.

Sometimes, the particles can break loose and clump together in one of the canals. When this happens, the nerve cells tell your brain that your head has moved more than it actually has. This incorrect signal results in vertigo.

BPPV is most often associated with aging, but it can also occur after you hit your head.

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 09/00