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What is the main use of the Epley maneuver?

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Quick Answer

The main use of the Epley maneuver is to reduce dizziness and spinning sensations due to benign paroxysmal positional vertigo, as WebMD explains. The technique works by removing loose calcium crystals from the ear canal.

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Full Answer

A patient must identify which ear is the source of the vertigo symptoms before performing the Epley maneuver, explains WebMD. A physician can help a patient determine whether it is the left or right ear that contains the loose calcium crystals. A visit to the doctor is also important to confirm that the patient has benign paroxysmal positional vertigo rather than another form of vertigo that requires a different treatment method.

The first step to performing the Epley maneuver involves turning the head 45 degrees toward the affected ear while sitting at the end of a bed, notes WebMD. The patient places a pillow behind her on the bed and then rapidly lies down, maintaining the 45-degree head rotation. When her head reaches the bed, the pillow should rest under her shoulders rather than under her head.

To continue the maneuver, the patient waits about 30 seconds and then rotates the head 90 degrees in the opposite direction, states WebMD. She holds this position for an additional 30 seconds and then rotates her entire body so that she is lying on her side. Finally, she returns to a sitting position.

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