Everyone who is treated for BPPV should be educated on the risk of BPPV recurrence and what to do about it.

In this blog, I will discuss a summary of findings from three research studies published on this important topic.

Study #1

In one study of 548 patients over an extended period, the authors found a BPPV recurrence rate of 22.1% at five years.

Of those patients with a recurrence, about 70% occurred within the first year.

Certain risk factors were found to have a significant correlation with BPPV recurrence including:

  • Head trauma
  • Ménière’s disease affects one ear
  • A higher number of BPPV treatments performed to resolve initial BPPV
  • A higher number of previous vertigo attacks

You can check out the abstract yourself here.

Study #2

The second study is a systematic review and meta-analysis conducted on all published research about BPPV recurrence, with certain criteria to include or exclude a published study in the analysis.

After reviewing all published studies, the researchers ultimately included a total of 14 studies. The studies they analyzed involved 3060 BPPV patients and were published between 2010 and 2019.

The results of their overall analysis yielded the following risk factors for BPPV recurrence:

  • Female gender
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High Cholesterol
  • Osteoporosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency

They suggested for further research to be done to evaluate the BPPV recurrence risk factors of advanced age, head trauma, Ménière’s disease, and migraine.

You can check out the abstract yourself and read more details here.

Study #3

The third study looked at the type of BPPV that occurred when patients had a BPPV recurrence.

They defined the criteria for “BPPV recurrence” as a new onset of BPPV after a period of at least a week had passed with no BPPV since the last BPPV treatment.

The type of BPPV included which ear and which semi-circular canal.

Only 24% showed BPPV recurrence in the same canal on the same side.

Key Point: Therefore, the patient would most likely need a different BPPV treatment technique for the recurrence.

These research findings explain why I don’t recommend for patients try to treat themselves if they have a BPPV recurrence.

Rather I always suggest consulting with a vestibular PT or other specialists for BPPV assessment.

You can read this study by clicking the following link.

The Patterns of Recurrences in Idiopathic Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo and Self-treatment Evaluation

Learn More

To learn more about BPPV symptoms, click here.

To learn about what is BPPV, click here.

Thank you to the excellent research teams that published these three studies!


This blog is provided for informational purposes only. The content and any comments by Dr. Kim Bell, DPT are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. The details of any case mentioned in this post represent a typical patient that Dr. Bell might see and do not describe the circumstances of a specific individual.

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