Canalith Repositioning

Used to alleviate the symptoms associated with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), canalith repositioning—also called the Epley maneuver, after its inventor, John Epley—involves a set of simple head movements aimed at changing the otoconia’s position within the ear. Those suffering from BPPV typically experience short but intense periods of extreme dizziness when they move their heads. Like other forms of vertigo, BPPV occurs as a result of a problem with the portion of the inner ear that affects balance. Specifically, BPPV develops when small particles known as otoconia break loose from one portion of the inner ear and fall into the inner ear canal. Canalith repositioning helps move those misplaced particles to a part of the ear in which they will not disrupt a person’s balance. Patients can undergo canalith repositioning in a medical setting or at home, and it is safe for elderly patients. In some cases, patients may wear an infrared imaging device over their eyes during the procedure. The treatment is quite effective, with upwards of 80% of patients achieving relief within one or two sessions. However, the problem does recur in some patients. For this reason, patients should undergo reevaluation within a month of achieving symptom relief.