If you suffer from BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional disorder), you can perform the Epley maneuver on yourself for instant relief from the dizziness and nausea.
“Start the maneuver on the side of the affected ear,” says J. Mark Anderson, MD, DABFM, of Executive Medicine of Texas and who is board certified in family medicine.
If the dizziness is brought on by turning to the right or lying on your right side, then the right ear is the one affected. Same with the left side.
Dr. Anderson explains, “While this is usually done by a healthcare provider, many people simply get a spouse or friend to help, especially if this becomes an ongoing issue or if a provider is not available.
“If doing this at home, you can use your bed rather than an exam table.”
How to Do the Epley Maneuver at Home
“Situate yourself so that you are fairly close to one side, but so that when you lie down, your head will be hanging off the end of the bed,” says Dr. Anderson.
“(If your left ear is affected, make sure your right side is closest to the side of the bed, or vice versa).
“Start in the sitting position and turn your head to the affected side, so that you are looking in line with your shoulder.
“The person assisting you will tilt you back quickly so you’re lying on your back with your head hanging off the bed with your head still turned to that side.
“Your head should be held in that position for 20 to 30 seconds, then rotated 90 degrees to the other side. It should be held there for another 20 to 30 seconds.
“Then, looking in the same direction, you’ll quickly roll onto the side your face is tilted.
“Your assistant will then rotate your head so that you are looking at the ground. Remain in that position for another 20 to 30 seconds.
“Your assistant will rapidly bring you up to a sitting position, and your legs will hang off the end of the bed.
“If this is not successful, a clinician can perform the procedure in the office and may also offer to do another maneuver called the log roll.
“Note: The head should never be pulled too hard in any direction or moved in a way that is uncomfortable.”
More on Benign Positional Paroxysmal Vertigo
Dr. Anderson is coauthor of the award-winning book, “Stay Young: 10 Proven Steps to Ultimate Health,” and host of the nationally syndicated Staying Young Show which goes to podcast as Staying Young Show 2.0.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.