All about Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD)

pppd treatment tips

In earlier times, German neurologists named a condition that affects the functioning of the brain and the vestibular system as phobic postural vertigo (PPV). This health syndrome is later known as Persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD).

When a person experiences disorders in the nervous system it leads to such an ailment.

Persistent dizziness, non-spinning vertigo are some of the common symptoms of Persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD) which makes the person lose balance and feel unsteady.

If a person is experiencing neuro-otological, medical or psychological events for a very long time, it can even be responsible for causing frictions in vestibular systems and can even lead to other neurological disorders. In such cases, PPPD dizziness lasts for longer time duration.

Crowded places and surroundings like crowded restaurants or traffic-filled roads are often responsible for triggering PPPD symptoms and make a person feel dizzy. If the patient of Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness is suffering from any of the ailment starting from a vestibular disorder, medical illness or psychological disorder, the condition gets worse with time and PPPD symptoms are triggered even more.

It has been observed that mild PPPD symptoms alleviate on self as patients distract themselves from the condition. It doesn’t take forever for PPPD symptoms to settle, it comes and goes without any specific reason and settles itself in shorter time duration.

Significant changes in a behavioral pattern such as obsessive-compulsive personality, mild depression & a rise in anxiety levels are seen in patients suffering from Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness.

If we talk about Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD), it has been proved in a lot of research that it is a chronic neurological condition rather than a psychiatric disorder which is caused when you are exposed to crowded areas. Patients having a medical history of vertigo conditions are more at risk of experiencing Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness (PPPD). It is advised to seek medical help immediately if you experience any PPPD symptoms for PPPD diagnosis. He will examine the condition closely by asking you to undergo various tests to diagnose the condition and would suggest the right PPPD treatment to cure the condition completely. After the PPPD diagnosis, doctors customize PPPD treatment as per the needs and requirements of the patient. Patients suffering from Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness sometimes show secondary symptoms like anxiety, avoidance behavior & severe disability.

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Doctors may recommend you undergoing physical therapy (vestibular rehabilitation) and cognitive-behavioral therapy and prescribe serotonergic medications as PPPD treatment.

What are the PPPD symptoms and how they get triggered?

PPPD dizziness may show the following symptoms:

  1. A continuous sensation of motion is experienced by the patient suffering from Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness, resulting in loss of a balance without spinning sensations.
  2. A continuous sensation of the motion lasts for at least three months and can last for a longer duration if the case is severe.
  3. Changes in behavioral patterns like obsessive-compulsive personality, mild depression & a rise in anxiety levels.
  4. Secondary symptoms like anxiety, avoidance behavior & severe disability start occurring.

Symptoms of PPPD dizziness show up in patients quite often or in some cases occur regularly. It is advised to consult an expert neurologist for accurate PPPD diagnosis to understand the underlying cause of such an ailment. He would suggest you with the best PPPD treatment and guide you in preventing PPPD symptoms from triggering any further.

We will share some conditions that are advised to avoid when you are suffering from Persistent Postural-Perceptual dizziness as they may trigger the PPPD symptoms while making it worse and difficult to handle.

Here is a list of conditions, one need to avoid while suffering from Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness:

1. PPPD symptoms are triggered when one sits in upright sitting postures or stands in an upright standing posture.

2. When one is exposed to overcrowded places like crowded restaurants, traffic, etc. or motion stimuli PPPD symptoms are likely to get triggered.

3. A person with a long-standing history of vertigo conditions is likely to experience Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness. PPPD dizziness can get triggered by acute vertigo spells.

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4. Some medical conditions such as dysrhythmias trigger PPPD symptoms.

5. PPPD symptoms can get triggered by certain medications that are used for treating vertigo spells, unsteadiness or dizziness.

6. People who experience high anxiety levels or mild depression may experience a trigger in their PPPD symptoms.

Avoiding certain conditions helps in preventing your PPPD symptoms from triggering. After following certain cautions if you still experience PPPD symptoms, consulting an expert neurologist is recommended to get the right PPPD treatment.

Diagnosis and treatments for Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness

When you seek medical help your doctor will ask you to undergo various tests for PPPD diagnosis to examine the underlying cause. He would seek your complete medical history and would like to know the symptoms you are experiencing to identify the severity of the condition before suggesting any PPPD treatment. Your doctor may prescribe you with certain medications, therapies, counseling and so on that work well in treating Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness.

Here is a list of treatments used for treating Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness:

1. PPPD medications prescribed by doctors

If you are diagnosed at the initial stage of Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness, your doctor may prescribe you with certain drugs to treat the same. The results start showing up within a week or two after the proper dosage of medicines. But PPPD medications may come up with some side effects and show adverse effects on patients such as nausea, sleep disturbance, etc. Anxiety and depression are resolved to a greater extent with medicines. Continue your PPPD treatment for at least a year as it reduces the chances of recurrence of Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness in the future. Benzodiazepines and other vestibular suppressants are not very effective in treating the condition because their results are quite slow.

2. Counseling or Psychotherapy

Counseling or Psychotherapy is quite effective in treating patients diagnosed with Persistent Postural Perceptual Dizziness. If you are at the first stage of PPPD counseling can resolve your issue but is not much effective in long-standing Persistent Postural-Perceptual Dizziness.

3. Vestibular balance rehabilitation therapy

When prescribed medication and counseling fails to give any positive results, Vestibular balance rehabilitation therapy is suggested by doctors to treat PPPD. Motion stimuli are reduced to a greater extent by Vestibular balance rehabilitation therapy. It shows effective results with shorter time duration.